Parking Outside Shorne Woods Country Park - Requested by Cllr Bob Lane
Reason: This was raised at the Parish Council Chairman's Meeting on 22nd May – see note at Item 8. Additional parking restrictions are required, but it is essential that the existing parking restrictions and traffic regulation order is enforced. It would appear that no enforcement officers from Gravesham ever visit Shorne, hence existing parking and traffic regulations are widely ignored.
Every parked vehicle in this video (filmed in April) is in contravention of existing restrictions.
Cllr Lane reminded the Board that Park Pale had been built to provide access to an industrial site which was currently being used by Harlech Haulage Ltd and the golf club. The road had a traffic order in place to prohibit access and there were also parking restrictions on Brewers Road. The users of Shorne Country Park preferred to park on the road rather than use the Park carpark where they had to pay parking fees. Car parking on the road caused it to become single track which was exacerbated by the size of the Harlech Haulage trucks. Parking restrictions were not enforced even though there had been a proposal to extend. It was noted that Kent and Gravesham Council officers had attended a meeting held two months ago with Harlech Haulage, Shorne Parish Council and Kent Police.
The Parking Services Manager advised that there was a Traffic Regulation Order in place on Park Pale in relation to a moving traffic restriction (access only) that was implemented by KCC Highways in 1989 and was the enforcement responsibility of the Kent Police who were not known for enforcement of access restrictions, as this type of issue was not a high priority mainly due to resources. However, the double yellow lines in Park Pale and Brewers Road fall within the remit of the Borough Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) to enforce. On receiving an email from Cllr Lane just before the last Board meeting in June, CEOs had been sent to check on the area two to three times a week and every Saturday and Sunday especially throughout the school summer holiday. It was noted that the double yellow lines had become very faint to the point of being invisible. As a result the lines had been repainted and since then, cars had not been seen parked on the double yellow lines when the CEOs had been in the area patrolling.
Parish Cllr Lindley advised that the principal problem was a safety issue as HGVs were using the road at the same time as pedestrians which included children and dogs. Staff at Harlech Haulage had expressed concern as they felt they may be held responsible in the event of an accident.
Following a question on the possibility of sending statistical information to parish councils on the date, time and location of Traffic Enforcement Officer’s visits to individual parishes, the Parking Services Manager advised that this information was not recorded unless the officer was ticketing a vehicle or was recording a visit to a time limited bay. Detailed recording would be very difficult due to the high level of detail needed and would take a high level of resources to download and plot GPS data. CEOs attended a daily briefing to plot their routes and to take account of any new issues raised. A record could be made of targeted areas but not for the wider Gravesham area as there would be too much information to record.
A suggestion was made that Parish Councils could offer to contribute via the Parish Council precept, to the funding of the whole of or a percentage of a CEO’s time as this service had a finite resource and would already divert resources to reported issues. If the parishes wanted more of the CEO’s time, then they would have to pay more. A reply was made that Parish Councils would need to know how much of the service they were allocated before a decision could be made on how much more of the service was required.
The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) noted that the issue with installing double yellow lines was that sometimes it rendered the road in question a raceway.
The Chair asked the Parking Services Manager to take away the ideas raised for consideration.