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Sunday December 09 2018

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In Full . . .

Politicians are too car-centric

Posted on September 30 2018 at 2:02:30

I was dismayed to read your article in September concerning our recently-elected “independent” politicians and their desire to “solve the growing parking problems across Alvechurch”.

So we have elected yet more car-centric politicians who refuse to accept the problem we have is too many cars, not too few car parking spaces.

The claimed hope that “a solution will also help to reduce traffic volume and speeds through the village centre” is ridiculous.

By increasing car parking spaces around the village centre you encourage more people to drive, rather than walk, there.

And if you want to reduce speeds, try adopting “20 is Plenty”, but in the meantime start by ensuring existing speed limits are enforced.

The village centre is, in fact, well provided with parking spaces, given that, in addition to the parking in The Square, we have the Tanyard Lane car park and also the Alvechurch Sports and Social Club car park for much of the time.

Unfortunately, the Tanyard Lane car park is often quite full because it is probably being used by some residents as extra parking spaces for their multiple cars.

I do hope the social club receive adequate recompense for the parking spaces they give over to car users.

I doubt our councillors have done any analysis of village centre parking habits or tried to improve the signage from the village square to the alternative car parks and vice versa.

Apparently, streets “are becoming clogged as the number of cars per household increases, with driveways only having room for one vehicle”.

People make choices; why should tax payers be left to pay for parking for people who chose a home that has insufficient parking spaces for the number of cars they choose to have? Looking around, many residents are, in fact, taking on responsibility for the extra cars they are buying and are widening their drives at a cost to themselves.

Agreed, “the problem is particularly acute near the station as better train services attract more commuters”. But why do people choose to drive to the station? I doubt any investigation has been done about this either.

Why not charge for the car park, like most other stations? This would encourage more Alvechurch residents to walk to the station and deter those from further away who drive to Alvechurch to avoid the charges at nearby stations, such as Barnt Green.

If better train services attract more commuters why are our councillors not looking at improving other public transport options?

The bus service in Alvechurch is woeful; if we had a decent bus service it could make the decision to ditch that second, or third, car more feasible for some residents.

We have many properties in Alvechurch that were built before the car became king and these were built with little, or no, parking.

It is these residents we should be looking to help, given they take these properties on, maintain them in good order (not cheap) and provide the village with much of its character.

One of our local councillors claims “any residential parking permits, such as those investigated for Bear Hill, would have to be introduced across the whole village”.

This is nonsense. If our councillors did their research they would find many parking schemes around the country have zoned areas applying to specific streets, or even parts of streets.

As well as the suggestions above, in their quest for parking solutions I would ask our councillors to consider where people might park their bikes.

It would be nice to be able to have somewhere to leave our bikes when cycling out as a family and visiting local shops and cafes in the village.

Howard Allen, Alvechurch 


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