Didn't the area vote 'no' to a parking scheme in 2015? No means no surely?
Actually, although it had a relatively low turnout (it was carried out when many people were on their summer holidays) the 2015 consultation had a narrow majority in favour of parking controls, in a wide area that went as far as the junction of Ditchling and Surrenden Roads and included what are now the controlled parking zones in Fiveways and the Balfour area.
Fiveways residents voted strongly in favour of a scheme – and their own small area scheme went ahead very shortly thereafter.
Balfour area residents voted solidly against a scheme – but once the Fiveways scheme was designated, those streets experienced the severe parking diversion problems that are now seen in the wider Surrenden Area. A local campaign was formed and a small area scheme has now been approved there. However, because the Balfour area is small, it is easy for people who live there to avoid paying for parking permits by parking in the Surrenden Area. This is an example of how a badly managed parking measure can make new problems just as it solves old ones. This is why we are campaigning over an area that is large enough to ensure that diversion problems would be limited.
Some of the rest of the Surrenden area streets that we now represent voted in favour of parking controls in 2015 and some like Bavant Road and Surrenden Crescent had the strongest support for a scheme in the whole area – but they have been left out and at present it is the Council's position that will be reconsidered in 2020. But when the entire area voted in favour in 2015, we struggle to understand why that was not good enough and we were very upset that the Council then 'cherry picked' some sections of the area for accelerated designation whilst telling residents in other parts of the area that we had to wait, for no clear reason.
We say that what happened after 2015 was not fair. The Surrenden area as a whole should be reconsidered for a parking scheme. This is particular important, as evidence gathered from our petitions undertaken between November 2017 and 20 January 2018 suggests that a solid majority of the households in the Surrenden Area do now support a parking scheme.
We are therefore glad and grateful to our new Ward Councillors and current members of the Environment Transport and Sustainability Committee for the fact that after May 2019, the Council worked quickly to bring forward a consultation in 2020.