Conservative councillor revives Molesey parking petition

Surrey County Council has agreed to reassess a proposal aimed at tackling commuter parking in East Molesey.

Local residents and retailers in streets close to Hampton Court Station have been demanding action for several years to tackle the issue of commuters parking all day in residential streets, reducing the availability of short term parking. A one hour residents-only restriction would ensure commuters would have to use the station car park and would free up spaces for residents and their guests and people using the local shops, cafes and restaurants.

Former Molesey Conservative councillors Steve Bax and Peter Szanto worked with road leads in each street to raise petitions designed to address immediate problems and any displacement. In total 82% of households (352) and 88% retailers (52) backed the proposals and there was fury when, in October, they were rejected out of hand by two Molesey Residents Association county councillors - the MRA having previously stated on record its opposition to residents' parking in those roads.

Dr Szanto, having defeated the MRA candidate in May to become the new Conservative East Molesey county councillor, set about trying to reverse the decision at the last Elmbridge Local Committee meeting on 26 June. He proposed a motion noting that the reasons for omitting the one hour restriction from the last review were not valid and should be reassessed. Councillors were generally in favour of looking at this again, provided that there is an independent review by officers of all the data and the displacement issues.

Dr Szanto's remarks and motion are below.

  • For many years residents and traders in roads near Hampton Court Station have been campaigning for parking changes to address rail commuter parking in these roads.
  • The roads are blocked all day on weekdays by the displacement of cars from the station car park, which is typically 2/3rds empty, resulting in an absence of short-term parking for customers and visitors. 
  • A detailed submission of proposals to address this issue, which would result in a considerable increase in available parking spaces for 23 out of 24 hours a day on weekdays, was made by residents and traders as part of the consultation to the Dittons & Moleseys parking review in March 2016.
  • This showed overwhelming support for the proposal, with 356 (82%) of households and 52 (88%) of retailers and traders in the affected area supporting action.
  • During the evaluation of the proposals, none of the road leads or the trader lead were consulted by Officers or elected Councillors. The proposal was rejected by the review last October. All local Member representation at that time was from a party who have gone on record over many years as being wholly against the residents’ and traders’ proposals.
  • Many of the reasons given for rejection by the Parking Review were, in the view of residents, wholly inappropriate and did not relate to the actual proposal. A number of members had reservations about the rejection at the Local Committee meeting last October.
  • The residents had done a huge amount of work and the issues raised in the proposal merit further evaluation.
  • Not surprisingly, given the strength of local feeling, this was a major issue in the recent County election.
  • In that election, residents voted in large numbers for a change in representation with a 13% swing.
  • Thus, the people have spoken and it is important that we reflect this in the actions of this Committee by reassessing their proposals.
  • Hence, I would like to make the following proposal:

“That the Committee agrees to reassess the proposal for a one hour resident’s restriction in roads near Hampton Court Station, to deal with the current displacement of all day commuter parking in these roads, instead of the station car park, as residents and traders feel the proposals they submitted at the time of the review were not given the due consideration they merited. That a report be brought, outlining options, to a future meeting of the Committee.  The Committee agrees to defer the advertisement of any of the proposed changes which may be impacted by this reassessment in East Molesey on-street parking restrictions arising from the Moleseys and Dittons parking review agreed by the Committee in October 2016, until such time as it is confirmed they are not impacted.