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Author Topic: Car parking at Kemble railway station  (Read 76918 times)
Sapperton Tunnel
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« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2017, 02:34:25 pm »

The issue is one of GWR's own making - coupled with a degree of incompetence from Gloucestershire County Council (GCC).

The requirement for a parking scheme for the village of Kemble are part of the conditions for granting planning permission for the new car park. Permission for the new car park was granted in March 2016 by Cotswold District Council (CDC), so GWR have known since then that a parking scheme will be needed. Indeed, a parking scheme was part of GWR's initial planning application made in February 2015

However, progress on the parking scheme has been painstakingly slow. Firstly, GWR did not send in their application to GCC until January 2017 and the public consultation (roadshow) by GCC was not held until the end of April 2017.

The proposals in the roadshow were totally incompatible for a country village - they were based on that for an urban environment. The GCC Officials at the roadshow were unable to answer some basic questions and for instance located a loading bay outside the school entrance, which is currently protected by the yellow zig-zags. It was apparent that the Officials had no local knowledge, had not even walked around the village and only managed to get there courtesy of their Sat-Nav. In short, the public consultation roadshow was a disaster.

At that point, GWR realising that it would take at least another 6 months for GCC to come up with new proposals, put in a planning application to delay the parking scheme for a year whilst the actual traffic patterns were monitored in a survey. There is also a rather unfortunate statement in the application 'This survey data will then inform whether new parking restrictions are required within the village.....'

A parking scheme is intrinsic with the conditions of the planning approval, and opinion is that GWR are now trying to wriggle out of it. This a big NO.

Problems with fly parking in the village by station users gradually came to the fore in the late 1980's and have continued ever since, despite increases in parking spaces from time to time. Verges have been torn up, entrances blocked, roads made impassable to modern agricultural vehicles and footpaths parked on. The village has tolerated and accepted this as part of modern life and a proposal for the constabulary to ticket fly parked vehicles for causing an obstruction was rejected as unfair as there is nowhere else to park. Instead, pressure has been placed over the years to increase the car parking substantially and this has finally came to fruition. Land was identified and planning permission obtained. In fact it was near-do as CDC were inclined to reject it as it impinged on an attractive rural landscape and it only passed when it became evident that there was a lot of local support as well as being of strategic importance to this part of the Cotswolds.

The new car park has been ready since May - and indeed it fits better into the landscape than many thought it would; full marks to GWR on that front - but is locked out of use until the parking scheme issue is resolved. There are two schools of thought - 1 - the parking scheme is an integral part of the application and the car park should not open until an acceptable one is in place and 2 - open the car park and wait twelve months to see what happens and then do the parking scheme.

The potential for not doing the parking scheme is not regarded as an option. The survey may show that conditions are now acceptable and therefore a scheme is not required,  but what happens in ten or twenty years time when the new car park starts to fill up and or the rates are hiked such that fly parking becomes a nuisance again?

Considerable discussions are taking place between all parties to get this resolved.



         
« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 03:13:21 pm by Sapperton Tunnel » Logged
John R
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« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2017, 03:55:54 pm »

I'm puzzled as to why a parking scheme was a requirement of planning permission. All other things being equal (and I'm particularly thinking about parking charges) I would have thought that additional parking spaces could only be beneficial to any issues with parking within the village.
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ellendune
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« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2017, 05:53:28 pm »

The issue is one of GWR's own making - coupled with a degree of incompetence from Gloucestershire County Council (GCC).

I really do not understand how this can possibly be of GWR's own making.

Seems like joint incompetence of CDC and GCC.  CDC should never have put in a planning condition that GWR did not have any control over without GCC first agreeing to do it. 

If there was such an agreement and GCC have backed out then that is GCC's incompetence and if there was not such agreement then it was CDC's incompetence!
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Sapperton Tunnel
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« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2017, 06:09:37 pm »

I'm puzzled as to why a parking scheme was a requirement of planning permission. All other things being equal (and I'm particularly thinking about parking charges) I would have thought that additional parking spaces could only be beneficial to any issues with parking within the village.

Without going into too much detail, in summary, the whole village is to become a residents parking zone. Residents will receive and will need to display a parking permit to park on the streets. Residents will also be issued with Visitors permits, and more of these will be purchasable for tradesmen etc for short term use. There will also be time limited loading bays for postmen, milkmen and other delivery drivers.

Thus anyone without a residents or visitors permit will be parking illegally and issued with a ticket. This will encourage rail users to use the new car park and not fly park for free on verges, in front of people's houses etc.
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ellendune
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« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2017, 06:13:44 pm »

I agree with JohnR

The additional parking could not make the fly parking worse! So do the residents parking scheme regardless of the parking not as a condition of it!
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Sapperton Tunnel
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« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2017, 06:33:55 pm »

The issue is one of GWR's own making - coupled with a degree of incompetence from Gloucestershire County Council (GCC).

I really do not understand how this can possibly be of GWR's own making.

Seems like joint incompetence of CDC and GCC.  CDC should never have put in a planning condition that GWR did not have any control over without GCC first agreeing to do it. 

If there was such an agreement and GCC have backed out then that is GCC's incompetence and if there was not such agreement then it was CDC's incompetence!

No, sorry, it is entirely GWR's responsibility. When planning permission was granted they had an obligation to provide a parking scheme for the village as part of the conditions. That is an entirely legal and proper demand by Cotswold District Council to insist on. The physical implementation of conditions is absolutely nothing to with CDC.

Gloucestershire County Council is in effect the contractor to GWR to implement that condition as they have the legal powers to do so. GCC were a consultee as part of the original application for the planning permission, understood that a parking scheme was required and made comments which were incorporated into scheme revisions by GWR.

It is GWR's responsibility to make an application to GCC for the scheme (as required by the planning permission conditions) and this they did in January 2017, 9 months after receiving the planning permission for the car park. It is up to GWR to find out from GCC how long it takes to implement and make the application in a timely manner. No one has backed out, but GWR appear to have got a bit of a short straw as the visibility given off by GCC is again one of incompetence.

It is GWR's responsibility to ensure that all conditions of the planning consent are met, including all the environmental and ecological requirements specified. 
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Sapperton Tunnel
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« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2017, 06:35:43 pm »

I agree with JohnR

The additional parking could not make the fly parking worse! So do the residents parking scheme regardless of the parking not as a condition of it!

I am sorry if I am a bit thick, but I do not understand your sentence.
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grahame
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« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2017, 06:53:41 pm »

Let's see if I've understood this.

There's been a parking problem near Kemble Station with people leaving their cars there - legally but a nuisance - for the day.

GWR proposed to build a 333 space car park, but the planning authority (CDC) felt this wouldn't do any good, as people would continue to park in the streets and the new car park would be little used. So the planning authority indicated they were inclined to reject the car park.   So GWR got together with the highway authority (GCC) and arranged that they (GCC) would bring in some restrictions to ensure that people couldn't park in the streets any longer and would have to use the station car park (or, heaven help us, the bus from Cirencester!)

With the arrangement that the highway authority and GWR had put together, the combination looked sensible to the planners, so they passed the car park but with the proviso that it couldn't be used until the street parking restrictions were in place.

Small problem - GCC hasn't (yet) put the parking restrictions in place, so the car park - although built - can'r (yet) be used.   Oops.
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stuving
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« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2017, 07:40:31 pm »

Why not look at CDC's reason for the condition? In the decision notice, they said:
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4 Prior to the occupation/use of the proposed car park, a scheme of on street parking restrictions shall be implemented broadly in accordance with the details contained in Appendix J of the Transport Statement/Assessment.

Reason: To ensure that safe and suitable access through Kemble is maintained as a result of the scheme hereby permitted in accordance with paragraphs 32 and 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Well, that provides a reason not to bother looking - it makes no sense, because the new car park has better access; direct from the A429 rather than (as now) through the village or from the north.

I practice, planners tend to exploit their one chance to affect development - the planning decision - to bolt on a few goodies out of their box (marked "planning guidelines" or "policies").  They also (as in this case) cite these as reasons, whether they fit or not, because the real reason may not have one. Then they approve the whole package, with no account of which bits logically depend on which others.

But in this case I can think of two aspects of the new parking that do logically depend on parking control, because what is approved might make things in the village worse. "Worse" here means worse than some other possible proposal, not the status quo ante.

One is the size - if even more parking will be needed within a short time, the planners will ask themselves whether they should have insisted on that now. The other is the charging - if a hypothetical expanded car park might have been free, or cheaper, then the one proposed (I assume at much the same rates as now) might only be approved if it does in reality stop on-street commuter parking.

The consultants' study shows you how this works. Appendix J, on the parking control scheme, (though weirdly entitled Parking Schematic) includes:
Quote
A parking scheme in the Kemble area of Gloucestershire is needed in support of proposed additional car parking at the Railway Station. A review will be necessary and should include a number of consultations with local residents, businesses and other organisations in the neighbourhood.

The main existing issues with parking arrangements in the area arise from rail users fly parking on quiet, narrow, nearby residential areas, to avoid paying for parking at the station. If the car park arrangement were to include charges, the problems with fly parking could well make the current situation worse or intolerable, preventing safe assess for emergency vehicles.

To address this issue, particularly rail users parking on the street, the County Council has requested a proposal for a new parking scheme covering an isolated area of Kemble. These proposals are presented for inclusion in the Transport Assessment. Neither a pay and display scheme, nor a permit scheme are desired. 

Note the bit that says "if the car park arrangement were to include charges, the problems with fly parking could well make the current situation worse or intolerable".  What the planners were thinking (assuming AKS Ward Construction Consultants have understood it correctly) was that charging for the new parking could be used to trigger the parking scheme, even if it is needed even more for the old car park (which provides them with no leverage). 
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Sapperton Tunnel
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« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2017, 07:59:30 pm »

Let's see if I've understood this.

There's been a parking problem near Kemble Station with people leaving their cars there - legally but a nuisance - for the day.

GWR proposed to build a 333 space car park, but the planning authority (CDC) felt this wouldn't do any good, as people would continue to park in the streets and the new car park would be little used. So the planning authority indicated they were inclined to reject the car park.   So GWR got together with the highway authority (GCC) and arranged that they (GCC) would bring in some restrictions to ensure that people couldn't park in the streets any longer and would have to use the station car park (or, heaven help us, the bus from Cirencester!)

With the arrangement that the highway authority and GWR had put together, the combination looked sensible to the planners, so they passed the car park but with the proviso that it couldn't be used until the street parking restrictions were in place.

Small problem - GCC hasn't (yet) put the parking restrictions in place, so the car park - although built - can'r (yet) be used.   Oops.

Almost there.

GWR proposed to build a 333 space car park due to the demand for rail travel in the locality. Growth at Kemble Station has been stunted in recent years compared to other railway stations in the area and this has been ascribed to lack of car parking capacity. Often, the car park is full and travellers park in the village and two types of 'parkers' have been identified - firstly those who arrive after the car park is full and genuinely have nowhere else to park and secondly those who habitually park in the village, to avoid the car park charges.

After years of pressure, plus realisation from the DfT and the commercial need for GWR to increase passenger numbers and hence revenue, that there was an unfulfilled latent demand at Kemble, more car parking spaces at Kemble was included in the GWR franchise agreement.

The additional car parking provided a route to implementing a residents parking scheme for the village with the intent of removing fly parking in the village by ensuring rail users use the railway car park.   

This was one of the conditions of the planning consent, in the same way that, for instance, the conservation of existing hedgerows, an approved landscape and planting scheme and low level lighting were also conditions.

These conditions were determined by CDC and accepted by GWR. The residents parking scheme is no more or no less of a condition of all the others required in determining whether the application was approved or rejected.
Grahame's sentence beginning "So GWR got together with the highway authority ......" and from then on is accurate
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Sapperton Tunnel
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« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2017, 08:29:15 pm »

Why not look at CDC's reason for the condition? In the decision notice, they said:
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4 Prior to the occupation/use of the proposed car park, a scheme of on street parking restrictions shall be implemented broadly in accordance with the details contained in Appendix J of the Transport Statement/Assessment.

Reason: To ensure that safe and suitable access through Kemble is maintained as a result of the scheme hereby permitted in accordance with paragraphs 32 and 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

This point refers to existing conditions of certain roads in Kemble. Due to the fly parking they are not currently considered safe and providing suitable access through Kemble (especially for emergency services and fire engines in particular). The new car park and residents parking scheme will enable safe and suitable access through Kemble, which would most likely get worse with more patronage at the station and no car parking expansion.


The cost of the residents car parking scheme is rumoured locally to be in the region of 250,000. Kemble Parish Council certainly does not have this sort of money (annual precept 15,000) nor does Cotswold District Council. Stuving is absolutely correct in that the opportunity to implement a residents parking scheme and remove fly parking at someone else's expense (ie GWR) was used as a bargaining chip.

I heard it direct from the horses mouth that the conversation (to GWR) went along the lines of "No (residents) car parking scheme, which you pay for =  No car park". That's the nub; it was as simple as that and the Planners were required to word it as appropriate. 
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John R
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« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2017, 09:04:44 pm »

I'm surprised GWR didn't pull out if that's the case and go and spend the money where locals would be a bit more appreciative of the investment.
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rogerw
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« Reply #42 on: July 21, 2017, 09:24:25 pm »

A residents' parking scheme seems to me to be a bit of overkill here. Apart from the costs of setting it up there is the ongoing cost of maintaining it both for the council and the residents who will have to pay for permits.  Perhaps GCC should look at schemes elsewhere where restrictions on parking in the middle of the day have achieved the same result of removing commuter parking and at much lower costs.  I am also still of the view that the condition is not valid in law and thus cannot be enforced.
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ellendune
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« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2017, 09:56:46 pm »

I agree with JohnR

The additional parking could not make the fly parking worse! So do the residents parking scheme regardless of the parking not as a condition of it!

I am sorry if I am a bit thick, but I do not understand your sentence.

Apologies for not being clear.

Building a new car park will not make the fly parking any worse.  If the problem is not enough parking it could only make it better.

It is therefore perverse to link the provision of a residents parking scheme as a condition of building the car park.

A planning condition is to mitigate the impact of the development. The fly parking is as a result of the station not the extra car park! In this case, unless the car park can be shown to make the fly parking worse it is ultra vires to include such a planning condition.

If CDC refuse GWR's release of the condition and GWR appeal then a planning inspector would find fro GWR. 

If CDC simply wanted GWR to fund the residents parking scheme then this would have to have been done through a S106 agreement to provide the funding, but it could not bind GCC to implement such a scheme.

This is an abuse of the planning system and should be called out as such!

That said I am not unsympathetic with the residents problems. It is just that the solution as proposed does not seem to me (I am not a lawyer) to be a proper use of the planning system.
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Sapperton Tunnel
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« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2017, 03:39:45 pm »

I'm surprised GWR didn't pull out if that's the case and go and spend the money where locals would be a bit more appreciative of the investment.

I'm afraid that I find that to be a little arrogant.

How would you like it if your driveway was blocked by a parked car and you couldn't get out all day and missed a hospital appointment?

How would you like it if you had arranged a furniture removal van, put cones out the night before, only to find next day that a fly parker had moved them and parked there, leaving the removal men to hike your furniture and possessions 200 yards down the road in the wet to the van, which also had to keep shuttling to let traffic by?

I could go on and on with lots of examples, but I think you get the jist.

It is not up to GWR alone to decide where the investment goes. The current GWR franchise is an agreement between the DfT and GWR. In that agreement if I recall correctly GWR were to provide 2000 new car parking spaces at a number of stations including Kemble. The pressure to include Kemble on the list came from both GWR for commercial reasons and also from the DfT due to longstanding pressure from the local MP and others.

My recollection of dates is a bit hazy, but FGW as it was then approached the landowner to lease the land in late 2013 or early 2014. It was thought at the time that the land required would be for about a 200 to 250 sized car park.

Initial approaches were made to Cotswold District Council sometime in the middle of 2014 regarding the planning situation and the reaction was mixed - the site would affect the landscape, but on the other hand they understood the strategic importance of it, plus the need to resolve the increasing fly parking in Kemble.

FGW were told at that time that in developing their proposal, a parking scheme for Kemble would need to be included and they should factor this into their calculations.

FGW submitted their first planning application in February 2015 for 333 spaces. This was somewhat of a surprise, compared to the expected 200 - 250 number, but FGW explained that their calculation of the latent demand due to lack of parking, plus the existing growth, plus additional growth from an IEP hourly service to and from London would indicate the new car park would be full in the 10 - 30 year horizon. This was formalised in a later planning document.

It was also thought that FGW were struggling a bit to create the 2000 new spaces, so bumping up the number at Kemble a bit at a cheaper cost than in urban areas would help.

The locals are appreciative of the investment, but as I have previously said the new car park and the residents parking scheme are intrinsically linked and FGWR have understood that from day 1. They have also lost a nice landscape. There is no difference between this situation and wishing to build a new industrial estate and being required to build the new roads that serve it.

In summary, GWR want to increase their business at Kemble by building a new car park. Providing a residents parking scheme is part of that solution.




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