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Badly timed Barcombe parking consultation

On 22 Jan 2011 at 10:55am MC wrote:
I've just just received a note telling me that "there is to be a consultation regarding parking in Barcombe on Thursday 27th January 9am-1pm. ALL WELCOME"!

No contact details included. No idea who has sent it or arranged it (Barcombe Parish Council, East Sussex County Council, Lewes District Council?).

It's not much of a public consultation when only pensioners will be able to make the meeting. Do they think that no-one in Barcombe works??

Rant over.
On 22 Jan 2011 at 11:32am 'ere be monsters wrote:
Went to the Lewes one yesterday afternoon, it went on 'til 9 last night. It was arranged by Atkins who are the "independent" consultants appointed by the ESCC to carry out the "unbiased and independent" revue of the on street parking. This doesn't include car parks. When I was there there were no representatives of the Council present but it was after 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. They couldn't tell me when and where the consultations were advertised as I'd only seen it Friday morning in the local rag and the questionnaire was on the doormat when I got home. I get the feeling that they want to keep the person to person contact down to an absolute minimum. That way they can say " We put on all these consultations and the lack of interest means most people don't want change."
Only one good piece of news is that Paul Crawford is not only nothing to do with the parking scheme, he's "miles away" from the council.
Rant over for the moment.
On 22 Jan 2011 at 4:20pm MC wrote:
Huh? Flyer says 9-1pm. Council web site says 1-9pm.

Looks like it might be a cock-up.
On 22 Jan 2011 at 8:49pm Extra wrote:
My Barcombe flyer says consultation is between 1pm - 9pm Thursday 27th January in the Sports Pavilion. It says it has come from Atkins who are consulting on behalf of ESCC, there is an address is Epsom for the return
envelope, and a website should you wish to complete on line. You should have three items in your pack: A paper entitled,'Have your say', a document entitled, 'Lewes Parking Review' and a prepaid envelope. Now get up the Oak!
On 22 Jan 2011 at 10:15pm MC wrote:
Ours came from the primary school. Found in sons book bag, no other documentation.

Barcombe Parking Consultation Fiasco

This is the first we've heard about it. Six days notice and times incorrect.
Why the Oak? There should be a great big poster in front of the village shop.
On 23 Jan 2011 at 12:29am extra wrote:
Okay, my flyer, as others in Barcombe Cross, were delivered by Royal Mail on
Saturday. It is a professionally printed document. Iguess that if yours has
not been delivered today, it will be on Monday. It is short notice for the consultation, but not for the completion of the documentation. The School
related flyer looks as though it has been done by some well intentioned but badly informed Parent. The Oak: just thought I would buy you a Saturday night drink....
On 23 Jan 2011 at 4:15am MC wrote:
Thanks for the offer but even if I'd understood it I'd have not been able to make it. Shame as I've been meaning to get down to the Oak to see how it is with the new managers too.

I conducted a small straw poll in the shop yesterday and not one person had heard about the consultation (including Gordon).

Sending out news of the consultation to arrive three days before the event does not give you great faith that the organisers are taking the consultation exercise seriously. If this is organised by Atkins I hope we are not paying them too much. They look very expensive:
On 24 Jan 2011 at 10:30am Extra wrote:
Final thought: If you are not on the voters register then you won't get a pack.
On 24 Jan 2011 at 9:08pm MC wrote:
There are two people on the electoral register in my house and we have *still* not received any official notification of the Barcombe parking consultation meeting. Neither have the three Barcombe friends I've talked to tonight (all on the electoral register). I guess it's possible we received something a while ago, assumed it was junk mail and binned it, but it doesn't seem likely.
On 24 Jan 2011 at 9:17pm Extra wrote:
Then I think it's terrible, but I think you'll find the same thing happened
last time. Good research on Atkins.
On 24 Jan 2011 at 10:19pm MC wrote:
Did it? Great. :-(
I rang Atkins today to check the correct time for the consultation. They seemed a bit concerned about the lack of notification people had received but more interested in the note from the school advertising the time incorrectly. In fact they rang me back to get more information about the note later, but didn't say anything about why the consultations had been arranged at such short notice and why people had not been directly informed. I am still waiting to hear on that.

Was it Atkins that arranged the original consultations then?
On 25 Jan 2011 at 10:36am Extra wrote:
I now know that Atkins booked the sports pavilion via the booking secretary, as just another booking. The Parish Clerk went to ESCC yesterday to obtain some posters, following complaints to the Chairman, and has placed these around the village. It's all down to Atkins.
On 25 Jan 2011 at 3:01pm olibarron wrote:
If anyone does go to the meeting (I can't due to work) just tell
them we don't need any parking restrictions. It worked well before
we had any. Cars parked in the high street slowed the through traffic
and made it much safer for kids going to school. If a local lib-dem
coucillor tells you that restrictions are in place to allow the fire engine
to get through it's absolute rubbish. The fire service have never been
consulted and in the 30 years I have lived in the village there has never
been a problem in the high street. If she also tries to tell you that cars
are wider than they were 30 years ago, don't fall for that either. I think
my Dad's Zephyr was wider than any fire engine.
Barcombe does not need hideous yellow lines and parking signs all over
our pretty village. The people of Barcombe can look after their own
affairs and do not need any council interference.
We should then get a reduction in our council tax !!
Good luck on Thursday whatever time it maybe.
On 25 Jan 2011 at 3:42pm MC wrote:
It comes as some surprise to learn that ESCC Councillor Rosalyn St. Pierre supported the introduction of the parking scheme in Barcombe. She is the first resident I have heard of that does not want the scheme entirely abolished. I hope some of the firemen go to the consultation. It is obviously important that fire engines can easily get out of the village in all directions and they should have a clear view on this.

I'm with you. Parking in Barcombe village centre slowed down the (increasing amount) of through traffic. Some cars now speed through at alarming rates.
I'm also concerned that all the people who park in the high street and drop their kids off at school on their way to work are doing something that is illegal.
I too hate the yellow lines that lend such an ugly urban air to the centre of the village.
The blue glad parking attendants that ride mob-handed into the village, swiftly booking every car in site before quickly returning to the safety of Lewes also remind me far too much of Star Wars Imperial Star Troopers. :-)

It's a shame you can't make your voice heard. I have a horrible worry that Atkins might recommend that chicanes and bumps (ala Ditchling) are introduced to the village centre. That would be terrible.
The consultation does go on till 9 in the evening you know?

I'm with Dan Wells. :-)
On 25 Jan 2011 at 5:03pm queequeg wrote:
Everything you said about parking in Barcombe applied equally to Lewes. The near million pounds spent on traffic calming in Southover High Street would not have been necessary if more parking was allowed to interfere with the traffic flow. Purely on a financial perspective the parking scheme sucks out of the Lewes District economy many millions that might otherwise be spent on better lifestyle and enjoyment with the prospect of more employment for those who provide it.
On 26 Jan 2011 at 1:06am Anyone seen a space...? wrote:
When you say Paul Crawford is miles away (beginning of thread) . where has he gone? He is the idiot who has been responsible for endless ticketting errors.
On 26 Jan 2011 at 2:03pm JS wrote:
Hi All,
I will be going to the consultation to express my view which is much like MC's.
Barcombe, in general does a great job of looking after its own traffic & parking.
The parking enforcement people are really not required here. I have exchanged letters with Norman Baker on the subject and he assures me that Barcombe will be treated with "a light touch". I havn't seen the Parking squad since.
An interesting point, just in case they do come back and you fall victim, I have received 2 parking tickets in the High Street for parking on single yellow lines, one on a Bank Holiday and one during normal hours (8am-6pm). I refused to pay either and both were quietly dropped after a flurry of threats and escalating charges.
On 26 Jan 2011 at 5:36pm rotten review wrote:
one pattern that is emmerging is tickets being wrongly issued, and instead of them being scrapped (after all, mistakes do happen) the ticket recopient is bullied with a variety of very questionable practices, unless they are as resilient as you, and others are in refusing to pay. Are there any statistics about how many tickest are being issued in realtion to other places. Pressumably if tickets were fairly issued, and the scheme worked, there would hardly be any issued anymore....?
On 27 Jan 2011 at 3:22pm JS wrote:
Thats a really good point, worth asking Lewes DC for some stats perhaps?
I take this view: parking enforcement in villages like Barcombe, which, to be frank has such few problems with parking, just ends up placing people in conflict with the local authority. If it aint broke.......
A thought also occured today, the new village hall will have something like 35 car parking places, further reducing potential parking problems in the village from March onwards.
On 27 Jan 2011 at 4:43pm MC wrote:
That's a good point JS. I'll bring that up when I go at 6.30. Might take a gander at the new pub too... if you fancy one.... we've been threatening to have one for some while :-)
Points I'm thinking of making:

First consideration: Are any parking restrictions at all required in Barcombe?

The only reason I've found is if fire engines and those tractors with the huge devices on the back can't easily get through. I've only heard of one definite instance so far and that was solved by a quick nip into the pub by driver.
If the current restrictions are aimed at these drivers then they seem flawed as tractors and fire engines don't only operate between the hours of 8-6 (or whenever it is the current restrictions are in force).

I too think that *if* parking restrictions are needed the lightest of touch is required and the fact that parking in the high street slows down the dangerous and unsociably fast through traffic (something which I personally abhor) must be considered a top priority.

* If a restriction is required then the shortest of single yellow lines possible only at the place where the high street is at its narrowest.
* Any line to be painted a country yellow (i.e. not garish or too obvious).
* And no penalties and no wardens.
* No restrictions till after school dropping of time.

As for Lewes. Lewes needs it's good character back. If a scheme as extensive as the current one is required then:

* Halve the number of wardens.
* Wardens should be much more relaxed and friendly and attempt not to issue fines.. and tell jokes.
* All on-road parking should be free for 20 minutes.
* Prices should be "much" lower.
On 27 Jan 2011 at 9:20pm MC wrote:
With 1.5 hours to go till it ended only 20 Barcombe residents had turned up to have their say and at least five of those were people I'd badgered to go.
Not apathy. Hardly anyone knew it was on.
On 28 Jan 2011 at 12:10am rotten review wrote:
How can Norman legally ensure a 'light touch' in one place, but not in another. A scheme is a scheme, and has to be run fairly in accordance with the law, following a legitimate consultation. Which is of course why we are all outraged that after 5 years it still hasn't been corrected, or run properly, unless Norman is improperly interfering in one area. Good on you both for getting people motivated in your area. Most people are so disenchanted with the ability of anyone to do anything about it, that they just give up. And to be fair some people really aren't affected, or are lucky enough to have benefitted in some way.

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