Labour ignores Eltham's parking concerns

Greenwich Council has failed to address residents concerns about the introduction of parking charges on Eltham High Street and has instead given an irrelevant response to a petition with hundreds of signatures.


At a Highways Committee meeting on Tuesday (10th January) the response to a 255 signature petition ran to less than a side of A4 and amounted to little more than a repetition of Council policy.  The response made no attempt to address the concerns expressed in the petition about the damaging effect on businesses in Eltham High Street.


At the meeting Cllr Drury argued strongly that the response was shockingly inadequate as it made no attempt to address serious concerns about the impact of parking charges on the High Street.  Spencer pointed out that there was no attempt to gauge the likely effect on the High Street if the charges were introduced and this was absolutely essential before the Council moved forward with the plan.


 Spencer also pointed out that when the Council increased their charges from 40p to 80p at the Orangery Lane Car Park in Eltham at the start of this financial year, the first seven months had produced an increase in revenue of only 0.8%.  This effectively meant that a doubling in price had halved the number of people using the car park.  If charges on the High Street had the same effect then this would be devastating for Eltham’s businesses.


Lastly Cllr Drury raised concerns (which were shared by Blackheath Councillor Geoffery Brighty when he spoke about parking at the Dover Road shops) about the Council’s intention to only allow people to pay to park using mobile phones.  This was potentially discriminatory and could worsen the damage of introducing charges on the High Street as even those who wanted to pay might not be able to.


Spencer said “This is an inadequate response and the Committee should have recognised this and asked for it to be rewritten.   In my opinion, they have to do a proper analysis of the impact that introducing parking charges might have on our High Street.   As always this Woolwich based Labour Council is trying to sweat more cash out of Eltham without caring what damage it does to our struggling High Street.  Introducing parking charges could devastate Eltham and the Council should change its mind about this policy.”


More general information


1.  The wording of the petition reads:


We the undersigned are aware that Greenwich Council intends to introduce parking charges for the spaces on Eltham High Street which are currently free but time-limited.  We urge the Council not to go forward with this proposal as we consider that the charges are likely to have a damaging effect on businesses on Eltham High Street.



2.  The full response to the petition reads as follows:


The following petitions were presented to Council on 1 December 2011


6. Petition – Opposing the introduction of parking charges in Eltham High Street


6.1 A petition containing 255 signatures was presented to Council by Councillor Spencer Drury on 1 December. Of these 210 are residents of Greenwich and 93 of those residents within 1 kilometre radius from Eltham High Street.


6.2 Current situation


6.2.1 On 14 December 2010 Cabinet agreed as part of the budgetary strategy 2011/12 to 2014/15 to introduce new areas of paid for parking. Eltham High Street was one of the schemes listed in the report.

6.2.2 Currently Eltham High Street has 30 minutes short term free bays parking and DRES is currently developing proposals which include 1hour paid for parking bays.

6.2.3 The methods of payments being considered for the paid for parking is pay by mobile phone only.


6.3 Future action


6.3.1 Residents and business will be consulted as part of the statutory consultation on the paid for parking proposal in 2012. Any objections and comment will be reported back to committee.