Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Wokingham Road area permit parking consultation deadline this Friday

Residents' parking sign s

The deadline for the Wokingham Road area permit parking consultation is Friday this week (February 2, 2018). Please respond to the consultation or you could submit further comments to responses already submitted online using the link at the bottom of this information. A few things to keep in mind:

  • The Red Route will be implemented soon along the Wokingham Road pushing more parked cars on to the side roads. Also pay-and-display is to be consulted on for the Wokingham Road shopping area and Palmer Park. Again this will push more cars on the side roads.
  • Hamilton Road and some other roads have severe parking problems – go for a walk down there if you haven’t been recently. Hamilton Road residents were surveyed recently and 86% of them supported permit parking.
  • If residents say yes to permit parking then the council will draw up a detailed scheme. The detailed scheme will then be consulted on.
  • If residents say no to permit parking in some roads and yes in others then the council has said it will draw up plans and consult on a smaller scheme – most likely and as a minimum in the Hamilton Road area where there are severe parking problems.
  • It has taken approximately 3 years of working with residents and lobbying the Council to get to the point of consultation. If roads vote no it is unfortunately likely that they will not be consulted by the council again on this issue for some time – even if there are knock-on parking problems.
  • Some extraordinarily high permit parking charges have been mentioned to us by residents. These are not for areas comparable to the east of Reading but for the very centre of places like London and Manchester.
  • Unfortunately the council did not include an option of “I only support permit parking if nearby roads decide to have it”. If this is your position then please put this as a comment in the section at the end of the consultation.

You can respond to the Wokingham Road area permit parking consultation by following the link below. You can also submit additional comments by following the link:

Thursday, 18 January 2018

The dice was loaded from the start (East Reading Mass Rapid Transit

Lots of residents have contacted me recently voicing their outrage at the devastating new road being proposed along the Thames riverside by the Labour-run Council. A lot of people are asking – why aren’t they doing something else?

There was an ‘options appraisal’ done by the firm of consultants hired by the Council. However, they were assessing options against a set of criteria that is already loading the dice. Will the option:

1. Increase capacity and connectivity for movement of people within east Reading and the town centre.

2. Reduce the journey times and congestion along the corridor.

3. Facilitate economic development in the Thames Valley.

4. Allow access for mobility impaired and pushchairs.

5. Develop a system which visibly has priority over the private car.

6. Facilitate a future MRT network for the Thames Valley.

So whilst residents want to know the cost to the taxpayer (massive) and the cost to the environment (enormous), and weigh this against the benefits to congestion (minimal at best) and air pollution (negligible), the Council wants to know if it will 'facilitate economic development' and 'facilitate a future MRT network'.

Other options need to be properly considered. A congestion charge might well be cheap in comparison (say, £5 million to get started,) would return money in the form of those paying the charge, and remove cars from the network, resulting in a reduction in congestion and air pollution. (Would it facilitate economic development? Yes, if the charge was re-invested properly.)

You can view the plans and submit comments to the Council here: East Reading Mass Rapid Transit planning application must click

Or contact us and get involved:

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Wokingham Road area permit parking consultation meeting

The Wokingham Road area permit parking consultation is now available online – link at the bottom of this post. If you live in the proposed permit parking area you will get a paper version of the consultation through your letterbox. We are holding a public meeting for people to come along, find out more and ask questions.

Public meeting details below:

When: Thursday, January 25 starting at 8 PM

Where: Alfred Sutton primary school, 148 Wokingham Rd, Reading RG6 1JR. In the community room.

Everyone who lives in the area is welcome. The deadline for the consultation is February 2 2018.

We believe though that the best way to start to tackle road safety and parking problems in the area is to introduce permit parking. If you want to get street emails on issues like this then email me:

Park Ward surrounded parking map

Thanks to Google for the map.

The red lines on the map above show roads which have permit parking in east Reading. You can see that the Wokingham Road area is surrounded. The overspill from these permit parking zones, especially the newly introduced Hospital and University zone is what has caused a worsening of parking problems. These issues start at Hamilton Road, which has recently done a survey showing 85% of people are in favour of permit parking, and head east.

Your Green Party councillors (Josh Williams, Brenda McGonigle and myself) have long been working on this issue. When we surveyed residents about permit parking across the area recently, over 60% said they were in favour of permit parking. This support was either outright or if nearby roads decided to have it.

We believe urgent action is needed on the roads most acutely impacted such as Hamilton Road. There have already been a number of consultations in this area and we believe we could go straight to the design phase. We believe an areawide solution – most likely a combination of permit parking and double yellow lines – is best so as not to simply knock at the problem on to the next road. But if an areawide solution can’t be achieved then we must help those roads most in need with smaller schemes.

We have already held a number of meetings in roads and we have a few more in the pipeline. If you have been to one of the smaller road meetings then you don’t need to come to this meeting.

We have produced a frequently asked questions on how permit parking works.

A link to the consultation and supporting documentation can be found below. Please either respond online or by post to the one which will come through the letterbox:

We care about the local area keep working with you to improve it.