Hamish — Parking is one of the biggest challenges facing our area. Sutton has the 6th highest level of car ownership and use in London, and therefore suffers from traffic congestion and a shortage of appropriate parking in many areas across the borough. To show the scale of the problem, approximately 320 requests for minor parking arrangements covering 228 streets across the borough were made last year. This is reinforced by a recent boroughwide survey of local residents where parking came out as one of the three most important issues. For those reasons, I am pleased that Sutton Council has prioritised this issue and recently published the Council’s new parking strategy.
In the past, parking schemes were considered and rolled out in an ad-hoc way with the unwanted consequence of simply pushing the problem onto surrounding roads.
The new strategy will be more cohesive, borough-wide, evidence-driven and with a well thought out 5 year delivery plan. It will be built into the wider plans for the borough and focus particularly on areas known as traffic attractors and generators – St Helier hospital, local schools, train stations and town centres.
The specific details are yet to be determined but in these areas parking schemes like Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) will be considered and local residents will be consulted.
In the coming years, it is inevitable that we will need to reduce our dependency on cars and use other sustainable modes of transport – public transport, walking, cycling etc. I am are aware that because South London currently lags behind other parts of London when it comes to public transport, many residents are often forced to use their cars. That’s why securing better local transport links has always been one my top priorities.
In these difficult financial times for local authorities, fixing our parking problem will not be easy and will take some time, but I can reassure you that I will work with local residents, businesses and Councillors to ensure a strategy is implemented which creates sustainable and fairer parking for all. Best wishes, Tom Brake MP