PARKING IN HOOK
Over a two-week period in March, the Parish Council conducted a survey of the parking situation in and around the centre of Hook, with the support of a team of volunteers.
The survey report concluded that six roads adjacent to the railway station have parking issues – excluding those mainly attributed to school parking. There were 47 vehicles recorded parking in these roads for more than 6 hrs per day (weekdays) on a recurring basis. A further 13 vehicles (parked for 6 hr +) were regularly recorded in Elms Road and 2 in Dorchester Road. The survey could not fully identify how many of these ‘long stay’ vehicles belong to residents, commuters or people working in local businesses.
Many of the complaints from residents and the survey observations support the view that it is not always the volume of vehicles, but the antisocial location of the parking which causes the issues for residents in the affected roads.
As the Parish Council has no authority in respect of parking, a meeting was held with Hart District Council in late September. The report was commended as thorough and reasonable and most of the conclusions were felt worthy of further consideration. A copy of this initial report can be found in the Documents section of our website. The Parish Council will undertake more work to look at ways of ameliorating, if not solving, the problems during the coming months. It is acknowledged that it is unlikely to be possible to prevent commuter vehicles parking in central Hook, but further investigations will look at possible measures to move the parking to locations which will cause less inconvenience to residents. The proposals may include a mix of time limited parking, yellow or white lines, marked parking bays or residents permit schemes. There is no single option to suit all areas and we are mindful that there can often be a knock on effect of restrictions.
The priority areas, which will be looked at first, are around Bell Meadow Road, Gower Crescent, Raven Road and some sections of Rectory Road. The Parish Council will shortly consult residents of Valmeade Close on the option of some form of time restricted Residents Permit Scheme. There is very limited parking in this cul de sac and parking by commuters and vets surgery visitors causes significant problems.
A restricted time limit is also under consideration for the parking bay outside the London Road Shops.
The scheme allowing parents/carers a period of free parking in Crossway’s Car Park has been well received. A further review of the impact of this on parking in Church View, St. John’s Close and Band Hall Place will be undertaken next year.
Discussions are ongoing with the District Council in respect of securing a period of free parking in Crossways Car Park, which has been a long standing aspiration. The Parish Council see this as key to being able to alleviate on street parking issues in roads such as Elms Road and Dorchester Road and make restrictions elsewhere more effective. This would also enable residents and visitors to spend more time in local shops and facilities.
Any changes or restrictions resulting from this work will not be implemented without further consultation, on the options, with residents in the immediate and adjacent roads. Any measures agreed will not be introduced piecemeal, but will be deferred until Hart undertakes its next Parking Order review, to mitigate additional cost.
COMMUNITY CENTRE REFURBISHMENT
Contractors are expected on site during November, initially to establish a site compound at the Community Centre. The detailed construction programme is being finalised and work will become visible in early December. Progress reports will be in our monthly newsletter.
The Annual Hook Schools Parents Association Fire Show and Fireworks will take place on Saturday 9th November. Hartletts Park will be closed for 24 hours from 8am on Saturday for both legal and safety reasons as the Parish Council Car Park in Ravenscroft is the fall-out area. Please remove all vehicles from the car park by 4pm on Saturday when it will be locked.
Please feel free to contact the Parish Council office if you have any questions or comments regarding any item published in our monthly newsletter. Visitors are also welcomed.
Anne Atkins – Clerk