Council officials are to carry out surveys of the parking situation in Pennington Road, after it was discovered that commuters from outside the area may be using the free parking facilities there to catch a daily coach service to London.
Opinion from local people is being sought on the possibility of a parking zone for residents only that may include part of the free Car Park.
Peter Oakford, who is the Town Council member for Southborough North and who also sits on the Tunbridge Wells Borough and Kent County Councils, has distributed a letter to residents, which states:
“I have been contacted by a number of local residents in recent weeks regarding the parking situation on Pennington Road, Park Road and the surrounding streets, including the Pennington Park car park. I would like to gauge the feeling of impacted residents before we take this further and begin a formal public consultation.”
The letter continues: “We are all aware that there are a number of contributing factors to this issue which includes the parking of commuters travelling by bus to London and the large number of commercial vehicles being left on the roads overnight and at weekends, often parked too close to road junctions causing cars to have to pull out blind on to the wrong side of the road”.
Mr Oakford says: “Having met with the parking enforcement manager at TWBC it has been agreed to investigate the possibility of creating a residents parking zone on Pennington Road as far as the Park Road junction, Park Road, Castle Street, Draper Street and Sheffield Road. Two thirds of Pennington Car Park would also be included in the residents zone with one third designated for a maximum of 2 hour stay. There would be an annual charge for a resident’s permit if this project were to go forward which would be discussed as part of the formal consultation.”
He adds: “The other thought is to not to explore a residents parking zone but to convert Pennington Park car park to a period of 2 hours’ maximum stay between 10.00 and 16.00 Monday to Friday. I believe this will cause further congestion on the local streets and the car park needs to be part of a larger solution.
“Using the camera car, TWBC has agreed to begin a survey of the area which will take place at various times of the day and evening to determine vehicle movement and length of stay. This will provide an indication of the number of vehicles that are being left in the area during the working day.
“We are still at the initial planning stage and the inclusion of Pennington car park will need to be agreed with Southborough Council, therefore before we develop this any further which will lead to the formal proposal and public consultation we would like to hear the views of local residents.
Mr Oakford has invited comments to the Southborough Town Council office or to his emails: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
So far he says he has had “a great response to my letter” and will in a week or so collate all the replies for discussion with Highways and TWBC to look at what can be done.
Parking restrictions were imposed in the form of double yellow lines on an extra section of Pennington Road recently after an accident caused by parked cars. This section is shown below but one result was a further reduction in available parking spaces in the road.
Parking was not an issue when a photo was taken from the same spot in what was then called Pennington Lane in 1908.
The coach operator, Centaur, advertises the attractions of the free car park in Pennington Road in its timetables for its London service: