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Monday, 21 February 2011
Oxted parking woes


On a daily basis cars are parked along Church Lane, which leads from the A25 to Oxted station, blocking two-way traffic flow. One positive consequence is that this acts like a “traffic calming measure” as cars can only proceed in single file, from one direction at a time at this point.  At peak times (e.g. school dropping/fetching times) the “calming” turns into a mini-gridlock situation. This is the route that busses and cars from out of town use to bring pupils to the local school. On the negative side it highlights that there is little parking for out-of-town commuters at the station so they are forced to park in the more residential areas.  According to the National Rail website there is a waiting list for commuter parking permits (which cost over £700 per year). 

Another development in Oxted is that the Surrey County Council plan to introduce charges for the street parking which they control in the central area. This is a move which has been objected to by Tandridge Council and local businesses. Meanwhile Tandrige Council controls two parking lots in Oxted, and last year decided to raise the price of the permit for their long term parking (60 spaces) also invoking the ire of local businesses who depend on these spaces for their staff.

It seems to me that there are a number of conflicting interests here: local businesses, residents, commuters, council and these are not easily reconcilled in a time of economic austerity and lack of resources (parking). Part of the problem seems to to me to be an over-reliance on cars. One solution might be for Tandridge Council and the Railways to encourage other forms of travel to and from the station (e.g. bicycles?). Another solution could be for local residents to hire out space on their driveways to out of town commuters.

The photograph above was taken on Thursday afternoon last week, at sunset, when there were 14 cars parked along this short stretch of road.

Posted by bigblue on 21/02/2011 at 08:20 AM
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