Those of us at December’s Theydon Bois parish council meeting heard a presentation from the North Essex Parking Partnership’s enforcement manager. He explained his civil enforcement officers can issue penalties where vehicles are parking on yellow lines (or on highways land such as a pavement adjacent to a yellow line), in residents’ parking zones or obstructing dropped kerbs.
Only the police have the power to deal with vehicles causing obstructions in other locations, including parking on pavements where there are no parking restrictions. Problems with obstructions caused by parked cars can be reported to the police on 101 or 01245 491491. However the sad truth is that the police have many priorities and may not always respond.
In some narrow or busy roads drivers face a difficult choice between parking wholly on the road, which may make it difficult for traffic to get past, and parking partly on the pavement which makes it more difficult for pedestrians to pass. However there should never be an excuse for putting all four wheels on the pavement and blocking it completely.
Pavement parking is a real issue in roads such as Ivy Chimneys in Epping, Woodside in Thornwood Common and Forest Drive near the shops in Theydon Bois. Of these roads, only Forest Drive has parking restrictions and enforcement there is made more complicated given uncertainty about where the boundary between highways and private land is drawn. However NEPP last night agreed to look at this again.
The problem of pavement parking comes up so often the county council’s Place Services and Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee held a session on it yesterday. Councillors discussed this briefing paper [pdf]. Frustratingly the conclusions were that little is likely to change ibn terms of enforcement, unless there are changes to the law such as those advocated by the Guide Dogs Association.
This places the onus on the council or landowners to look at alternative ways of solving the problem, such as providing parking bays (expensive and often at the expense of grass verges), tolerating parking on grass verges or greens (often unsightly) or introducing new parking restrictions (which may not be practical if residents don’t have access to off-street parking).
Despite the frustrations it is an issue I will continue to work on.
For the first time Epping Forest district council has revealed proposals under discussion for the St John’s Road development site in Epping. (The site comprises the vacant former Epping Junior School site, the Centrepoint building on St John’s Road opposite the library, the Epping Hall site occupied by Epping Town Council and the district council’s housing depot site with access via the slip road to the High Street.)
- a “relatively small” supermarket anchoring the scheme
- small cinema, “probably three schemes”
- Town Square
- some residential
- offices (including for the town council replacing its office at Epping Hall)
- car parking
It is clear there is still a lot of discussion and debate to be had.
Mr Pasterfield said the next stages are for the three councils involved to agree Heads of Terms with Frontier Estates, then negotiate a development agreement and then for the developer to submit a planning application.
There is a report on this going to the district council’s decision making Cabinet
next Monday (21 July). It’s currently scheduled to be discussed in private session but Janet Whitehouse and I are asking for the discussion to be moved into public session given the significance of the the decision to the town. Hopefully that will bring more information into the public domain than the slightly sketchy details given above.
You can watch the report to the Asset Management Committee on the council’s webcast archive
: the St John’s item is between
53:23 and 55:24 minutes. I was surprised to hear the comment about Epping Town Council as I believe a formal decision about the Heads of Terms has not been taken by the Town Council.
I hope to add more information as it becomes available.
The timetable for the Epping Parking Review has slipped again. I now understand that the Traffic Regulation Orders (official notices from the county council advertising the formal proposals) will probably be published in early February. As Janet and I reported in the most recent Epping Focus leaflet, the main way residents will know about this is from notices attached to lamposts.
Residents will be able to inspect the full proposals by looking at Essex County Council’s website or at Epping Library.
The links on the left of this page give outline details of what we expect to happen.
I’ve created a new page dedicated to the Epping Parking Review. Essex County Council is due to publish its proposals for new parking restrictions in January. At the moment the page contains information about last summer’s consultation exercise. I will update the page with news of the county council’s response in due course.