26 July 2016 – Winchester City Council approved revised TRO

At a (rare) meeting of the Winchester City Council Cabinet (Traffic & Parking) Committee the revised Traffic Regulation Order was approved.

Despite efforts by two Swanmore residents who addressed the meeting (of which I was one) to only have the lines requested by the school approved the revised order was passed.

Frank Pearson also addressed the meeting and did concede that the original plan was not generally supported in the village.  He however continued to say that in his view additional yellow lines were needed. So perhaps we face another battle in the future.

There is no doubt that the revised plan is a major improvement over the original and while not ideal can be ‘lived with’. The will of the village has generally prevailed and the Parish Council and Frank Pearson have been shown to be out of touch.

So bloody noses for Frank and the Parish Council and a reasonable victory for common sense and Swanmore. Now what will the next battle be? Lets continue to keep these councillors accountable and ensure their ideas are in line with the wishes of the village not themselves.

 

Mark Johnson

 

 

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New Proposal Published – 18 July 2016

Following the great response from Swanmore residents 92 emails/letters were received by Winchester City Council! We are not sure if this is a record but it is a very high response.

Of the 92 responses only 2 were in favour of the proposal.

Following the overwhelming negative comments the proposal has been considerably reduced in scope.

RevisedTRO190716 RevisedTRO

 

 

 

 

The proposal now just contains white zig zag lines outside the primary school (as requested by the school) and double yellow lines at two junctions.

Everyone who submitted a response should have received the following response:


I can confirm that due to the volume of comments received regarding the proposal to introduce Parking and Waiting Restriction in Swanmore this matter is now being taken to a meeting of the Cabinet (Traffic & Parking) Committee for decision.

The meeting is being held on Tuesday 26th July 2016 in the King Charles Hall, The Guildhall, Winchester and will start at 10:00am.

The meeting is open to the public, and if you wish to make a representation I would ask that you make yourself known to the Committee Clerk no later than 15 minutes before the meeting starts.

Your comments have been noted and will be summarised in the report taken before the Committee. As a result of the comments received, it has been decided to reduce the proposals for parking restrictions significantly, and the changes to the proposals will be detailed in the report. Full details will be available on the City Council’s website from 18th July 2016 at the following location.

http://www.winchester.gov.uk/meetings/ou/3

 I trust the above is of use.

Yours

Corinne Phillips

Traffic Engineer


 The full report can be downloaded here: CAB2819-TP

Comment:

While this is a considerable improvement many people are still unhappy that the double yellow lines on the junctions will be unsightly, and of course are not needed for enforcement purposes. The law is already clear about parking at junctions – enforcement is the issue. Where other villages have wanted to visibly remind inconsiderate drivers about not parking near junctions a single white line has been used – giving a much better visual appearance. Why not here?

The final decision is with the Cabinet (Traffic & Parking) Committee meeting on the 26th July. They will not necessarily agree the new proposal and could theoretically agree the original. So while this is a step in the right direction it is important not to think the matter is settled.

I will be at the meeting and requesting the opportunity to address the committee.

Mark Johnson

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Parish Council Meeting – 7 June 2016

In a Dibleyesque meeting of the Parish Council Meeting to discuss the proposed Traffic Regulation Order twenty residents crowded into the relatively new parish council office to make their feelings known.

All twenty spoke against the proposals with passion and concern.

After this the Parish Council then discussed the matter. No time was given to discuss the comments made by the residents and immediately the chair asked each councillor for their views. It was clear that little, if any, notice was taken of the public comments. The outcome had likely been decided before the meeting.

It was clear that many of the councillors were only concerned with what affected them. One conversation was along the lines of  “I drive down that road every day, if we could extend the double yellow lines further along the road it would make my drive easier.”

The chair commented that the primary school would not have many children from out of catchment due to the 70 new houses being built in Swanmore. Currently 1500 houses in Swanmore provide 220 children, with 200 are from out of catchment. Just do the maths!

In the end they agreed to support most of the proposal and write a letter to Winchester City Council to that effect.

It’s time we started holding them more to account. But then they aren’t elected as nobody wants to stand. So it is our fault, we get the council we deserve.

 

Mark Johnson

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Swanmore Against Yellow Lines – SAYL

YOUR ACTION REQUIRED BY 8th JUNE – Please read the information below and then use the email link to the right to object to (or support) the proposal.

You can also just email legal@winchester.gov.uk


Parish Council Meeting to discuss TRO proposal – 7 June at 18:30 – Be there!

Meeting Information


UPDATES – If you have read this page already then please read the updates HERE


For many years Frank Pearson (one of our  just re-elected Winchester City Councillors) has been trying to get additional yellow lines through the main part of Swanmore.

In the last two years he has been pushing hard and Swanmore will get more yellow lines unless enough people register an objection before 8th June 2016.

Why are these new traffic parking controls being proposed?

The problem is seen to be the delays driving through the village when parents park to drop off and collect children from the primary school. Morning drop off being less of a problem than in the afternoon.

It is true that driving through the village at these times can take an extra minute or two.

What is being Proposed?

Look at the plan below to see the details (click to get larger version).

In summary the existing single yellow lines are being extended and changed to double yellow lines, new single lines are being added down in front of the Brickmakers Pub, lines outside Swanmore College and ‘School Keep Clear’ Marks in front of the primary school.

Swanmore-TRO-Proposal-Plan

Copy of Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) letter outlining how to object: Swanmore-TRO

Nobody objects to the ‘School Keep Clear’ markings as requested by the primary school. But that is all they have requested.

We don’t have any information on what Swanmore College have requested.

Background and research:

In a meeting with Frank Pearson in September 2015 he made three key points:

  • He was pushing for the yellow lines due to the number of complaints received
  • That this was a solution for an urban area. On being questioned on this he stated that Swanmore could be classified as a town (two churches, two halls etc). He didn’t agree that Swanmroe was rural.
  • The problem was caused by about 60 – 100 cars

In response to the first point two Freedom of Information (FOI) Act requests were then sent to Winchester City Council and Swanmore Parish Council asking for the number of complaints received over the last 5 years.

The responses were:

Winchester City Council   – ZERO complaints received

Swanmore Parish Council – ZERO complaints received

So complaints cannot be used as a valid reason!

There is no doubt that this solution is urban in it’s ferocity. Swanmore is a village and should be treated as appropriate for a rural environment. Given all the recent house building, approved by our councillors, perhaps the objective is to urbanise Swanmore?

Since the FOI requests the excuse changed from being driven by complaints to one of safety, and that the primary school supports the proposal. Sounds reasonable perhaps? Well the school only want zig zag lines outside the school buildings and of course traffic speeds are likely to increase, as mentioned by the police, with this proposal.

So what do the Parish Council say?

In a meeting with Xavier Kingsland the chair of the council he said that the objective of the proposal was to reduce the number of parents who live in Swanmore driving to drop off and collect their children to/from the primary school. He outlined the many things the council had done to reduce this but to little effect. The parking restrictions would force parents to park at home and walk their children to school. Sounds reasonable perhaps? The question that neither Frank Pearson or the parish councillors have asked is how many of the primary schools pupils are from out of catchment (don’t live in Swanmore). The answer is about 50% around 200 children. So there are two hundred children who cannot easily walk to school!

Frank Pearson was asked if he knew the answer to this question – and he didn’t.

The proposed parking restrictions may well put people off sending their children to the primary school.

Where will the cars affected go?

With the large number of children from out of catchment parents will still need to drive. So the cars will still come and have to park outside of the yellow line areas. This will just move the problem not fix it. And what will our councillors solution to that be?

If you have been in Swanmore when a large funeral was being held at the church or a parents event at the primary school on a school day you will have experienced what happens when cars park outside of the proposed yellow line zone. With the new parking controls in place, and the limited parking available, the majority of people attending school events, funerals in  the church etc will have to park at least 3 – 400 metres away, and perhaps a lot further. This will then encourage parents to come even earlier to get the closest parking spaces.

Why double yellow lines?

The double yellow lines were specifically requested by Frank Pearson.

Double yellow lines are in effect for 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Doesn’t this sound overkill for a problem that happens for 20 – 30 minutes, 5 days a week for 39 weeks of the year?

Perceived problem: 39 weeks x 5 days x 30 minutes = 97.5 hours per annum

Proposed solution: 52 weeks x 7 days x 24 hours = 8736 hours per annum

If this really needs yellow lines to fix the problem (and few people believe it does) then why not have single lines timed at school drop off and pick up only?

Reasons for the Yellow Lines:

To reduce the short delays some people experience on school days.

Reasons against the Yellow Lines:

Will move the problem, not fix it.

Solution is out of proportion to the perceived problem.

Negative effect on primary school.

Safety may be reduced by an increase in traffic speed.

Outside of school collection/drop off times Swanmore will be a ‘clear run’ for cars and lorries. It is likely we will see a year on year increase in traffic using Swanmore as a short cut.

Negative effect on house prices and attractiveness of the village.

Detrimental impact to the village, shops, pub, school, church and villagers.

Swanmore is a village – the proposal is an urban solution

Alternative solutions have not been investigated.

Traffic surveys have not been completed to verify councillor perceptions.

The councillors have not done any form of modelling or impact assessment on the impact of these proposals.

Is there another solution?

Yes there is – extend the existing car park near the school(the land at the back of it is owned by Hampshire County Council).

The creation a drop off zone in the car park, in addition to extending it, could provide access to the rear of the school (and perhaps the front as well) reducing the time cars have to stay in the car park.

This car park is now full most of the school day so not many parents can park in it. This has got worse over the years due to the reduced number of parking places at the school for staff and an increase in the school staff. So many of the car parking places that parent used to use are no longer available and they have to park on the road.

Extending this car park is an obvious solution with many advantages outside of school days when events are held in the village, church and the Paterson Centre.

Yes this will have a cost, but what will the cost be to the life and soul of Swanmore of the yellow line proposals?

Why isn’t this being investigated? Good question! Perhaps they want it for more houses?

Conclusion

Many people feel that these proposals have little to do with the reasons being stated by the councillors but are part of a bigger idea to open up Swanmore for future development.

Whether this is true or not it is likely that if implemented the village will change for ever, the heart being destroyed, an increase in traffic, and an impact on residents, visitors, the primary school and local businesses.

Did you know that Swanmore has the highest council tax of any of the Winchester City Council areas? And this is what the council want to give us in return. Where are the proposals for a car park extension?

Don’t let this happen – email your concerns NOW! 

Email Winchester City Council

Initial draft by Mark Johnson, additional input from other Swanmore residents.

Comments to sayl@swanmore.net

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