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‘Our Road Is A Free Car Park For Police And Council Officers’ Complain Residents

Published on: 22 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 25 Mar, 2013
Non resident parking in Rivermount Gardens which, it is claimed, has become a free car park for police  and council officers

Non resident parking in Rivermount Gardens which, it is claimed, has become a free car park for police and council officers

As some residents in other parts of Guildford express concerns at the prospect of more parking restrictions, those in Rivermount Gardens, off the Portsmouth Road, cannot wait for them to be applied.

They are angry about the use of their road for parking by nearby workers many of whom are believed to be police officers working at Mount Browne or Millmead. Others are thought to be council officers also from Millmead.

Rivermount Gardens, is a residential road comprising just 19 properties. It is a ten minute walk from Guildford town centre and five minutes from Millmead. Parking restrictions were introduced to other roads in St Catherine’s in the mid 1990s but Rivermount Gardens was excluded.

Concerns about non residents parking in the road started around five years ago but the problem increased considerably when the base for neighbourhood police officers was moved to be co-located with the council at their Millmead offices.

Once residents agreed on the need for controlled parking in the road the necessary formal review and consultation process was started in November 2011. This can take several years and residents are asking why it needs to take so long.

Lynne Jackson, chairwoman of the road’s residents’ association said: “Surely there is a way in which ‘due process’ can be hastened in these obvious circumstances? It seems extraordinary that there is no definite time scale. We are instead told, ‘It all depends’.

“In the meantime our road is a free car park, serving mostly the local police and council staff. The road cannot be swept properly or drains serviced. Refuse lorries, which are unable to turn, have to back out onto the busy Portsmouth Road. Some cars are parked dangerously close to the junction.

“The residents feel abandoned and abused. As for the police parkers, Dixons of Dock Green they are not!”

Cllr David Goodwin who is both the Borough and County Councillor (Lib Dem) for the area said: “Frustrating though it might be, I am afraid the review processes, which have to be completed before we can implement CZPs [controlled parking zones], do take a couple of years.

“We do have to consult all the residents carefully. Sometimes they do not all agree what should be done, as we are seeing in Onslow Village at the moment. However, in this case, where we now have overwhelming agreement amongst those affected, I will do my best to get the restrictions put in place as soon as possible.”

Responses from Guildford Borough Council (GBC) and Surrey Police have now been received please see them below.

What do you think? Do you live in the road? Or perhaps you use Rivermount Gardens to park? Please use the ‘Leave a Reply feature’ below.

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Responses to ‘Our Road Is A Free Car Park For Police And Council Officers’ Complain Residents

  1. Surrey Police Spokesperson Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Surrey Police can confirm it is aware of the concerns of some of the residents in Rivermount Gardens in relation to parking and both officers and staff have been reminded to park considerately in this and any location.

    Rivermount Gardens does not currently have parking restrictions and a consultation is underway in which Guildford Borough Council is looking at the parking measures for the road.

  2. Guildford Borough Council Spokesperson Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Rivermount Gardens was not included in the Controlled Parking Zone in 1996 as only one household out of 19 supported parking restrictions.

    Demand for parking near our thriving town centre is high and we understand the concerns of local residents.

    We must follow a legal process to introduce or change parking restrictions. It is not practical to do this on a road by road basis, so like most councils, we complete area reviews. These reviews alternate between the Town Centre Controlled Parking Zone and all other areas outside the town centre.

    The current review covers a number of town centre areas including Dene Road, St Lukes Square, Rivermount Gardens and Cranley Road.

    We must consult local people on our proposals, formally advertise our plans and make an amendment order before we can start any work on-site. Each element of the process is shaped by the results of the consultation – we must listen to the views of local people before we can finalise and changes.

    We aim to formally advertise our plans for Rivermount Gardens and other central locations early this summer. Feedback from the consultation should be given to the Surrey County Council Guildford Local Committee in September. If we are able to go ahead, we hope to implement parking controls later this year or in early 2014.

  3. John Schluter Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    There is a similar problem in Chestnut Avenue. Staff at the College of Law building, Barratt House occupy the ‘Residents and Two Hours’ bays, emerging in pairs every couple of hours to swap spaces (not prohibited apparently).

    The upshot is that residents, having paid their £50.00 for a permit, often have to park halfway up the hill, if there are spaces, rather than nearer their houses.

    It is not difficult to spot the Law College vehicles as they display their own parking permits (they have extra parking facilities in Braboeuf Manor).

    A few ‘Residents Only’ bays would be welcome.

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