When it comes to controversy, dividing communities and people getting hot under the collar there’s nothing like traffic issues and parking. And so it comes to pass (again) in Wanstead.
So, in this season of goodwill to all men and women, please spare a thought for our hard working councillors who are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. When they do the right thing and have a consultation it often ends up as a near 50/50 split with half the responses wanting parking restrictions, road humps, whatever, and the other half not. So our councillors are faced with a decision knowing that half the residents will have right hump [sic!] with them. And councillors don’t like to be unpopular; it affects them in the ballot box.
So to Wanstead. There are already some Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) in Wanstead, but not in the High Street. In this day and age that is very unusual, particularly as in this case it lies between two very close Zone 4 Central Line Stations and will attract commuter parking.
The new proposals are, apparently, due to West Ham United moving to the London Stadium, Westfield and Sir Robin Wales, who is the directly elected Mayor over the border in Newham. The new parking regime there, it is believed will have a major impact in Wanstead, chaos even, trafficageddon possibly, and something needs to be done, and quickly, to counter this threat to Wanstead civilisation. Read what the council has to say here.
On the “for” side we have:
'Charge people to park or Wanstead High Street will die', Robins Pie & Mash owner June Robins says.
'This isn't about democracy, it's about money': Residents slam Redbridge Council's new parking scheme for Wanstead
And here Cllr Nolan is quoted: “There are people who don’t want it and others that do – it’s dividing Wanstead”, with Cllr John (Dick Turpin) Howard defending the scheme saying: “This project isn’t about income, it’s about making parking fairer for residents and businesses and providing a better facility for visitors to the area.”
Donna Mizzi, who founded the Wanstead Art Trail and Flamingo Fairs, believes it will destroy these and other community events and she has an on-line petition asking for a proper consultation. Click here.
However, it may be worth noting that the Car Free days we used to have down in Wanstead, (when there was no parking or moving traffic), didn’t stop hoards of people, including me and my family, from turning up. As noted earlier public transport in Wanstead is very good with lots of big red things called buses and two tube stations at either end of the High Street.