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The Battle to Save Waterloo Road - in Epsom, not the TV Programme!

November 16, 2012 5:04 PM
Waterloo Road

Waterloo Road, Epsom, after a traffic warden visit

Traders in Waterloo Road despair of having the short-term on street parking available for their customers - needed to enable their shops to survive.

Yellow lines were introduced at the same time as in the High Street, against the wishes and advice of the local county councillor Colin Taylor. This rapidly led to the closure of the popular children's furniture and clothes shop. After the Local Committee again refused Cllr Taylor's call for short-term parking, the shopkeepers presented a petition which eventually led to a 30 minute limit between 9am and 5pm.

In practice, this allowed overnight parking from 4.30pm to 9.30am, which caused problems for the shops, some of which are open from 7am to 10pm.

In addition, the shopkeepers wanted a 20 minute limit to increase the number of customers who can stop briefly. This was finally implemented early in November, FIVE YEARS after it was requested. Action on extending the time of operation to the evening and early morning has, however, been postponed until 2014.

Earlier this month shopkeepers were dismayed to find that builders working opposite had been given free permits by the council to use the short-stay parking all day, despite it being intended to give users of the shops the ability to stop-and-shop. No sooner had these permits been withdrawn, when it appears that the builders want some of the short-stay parking suspended entirely, to make it easier for construction traffic to turn into their site. On top of that, a request has been made to suspend all parking to facilitate work on new electricity cables.

Borough councillor Julie Morris says "The message just doesn't seem to be getting through to either the borough or county council that these shops need to have some parking very close by in order to survive". Cllr Taylor has asked the county council to ensure that no further permits are issued for construction traffic and that no parking bays should be suspended without providing a viable alternative. In addition, he is continuing to urge that as soon as possible the 20 minute parking limit should be extended into the evening and early morning to prevent abuse from overnight parking.

"There is some good news though" added Cllr Morris "traffic wardens were seen in the area when this photograph was taken, keeping space available for those who want to use the shops".