The Winchester Hall was full to bursting on 28 March. Cllrs Annie Hambidge and Simon Lamb led the meeting with transport officers Mick Potter and Paul Gellard from the Environment Directorate. The meeting objective was to convey possible options, pros and cons and gather information from the floor. Cllr Hambidge stated that the point of the meeting was not to promote the CPZ solution.

A map of the proposed boundaries was produced causing a stir due to the size of the area under consideration. Residents from the floor made it clear that existing problems differ street by street, it was agreed that not one solution would suit all. Concern was also raised that new businesses coming into the St Margarests Business Centre at Drummond Place would further exacerbate the problem.

Residents were assured that the consultation would take place this financial year. Options would be made available along with supporting evidence of outcomes of these options in other areas.

Action agreed to be taken forward by local residents

Hilary Ivory Chair of the St Margarets Association of Residents put forward an idea suggestd by a local resident that would contribute to an audit of cars that park in our streets.

It was agreed that this audit should be conducted before any action is taken in order to assess the following:

  • How many residents’ cars need to be accommodated?
  • How many commuters’ cars are parked in the ‘village’ daily?
  • How many holidaymakers park in St Margaret’s, then fly out of Heathrow for a week or more?
  • How many cars have been abandoned?

In order to come up with the most suitable solution, the conditions need to be defined.

The Councillors present (Cllrs Hambidge and Lamb), and Mick Potter (Traffic Officer Environment Directorate) agreed to let residents carry out this audit themselves.

The area in which the audit would be conducted was defined as the ‘village’: those roads bounded by Chertsey Rd and the railway line, and St Margarets Rd and Moormead Park. There was considerable interest in extending it beyond these boundaries into Orchard Rd and the Trust Grounds. However, sheer logistics make anything wider than this difficult initially. Twenty generous volunteers signed up to offer their services.

Next steps:

The audit is scheduled to start after the Easter holidays to avoid any unusual absence of cars from the neighborhood that would skew, and thereby invalidate, the results. (This will also allow for the return of several volunteers who will be away until the last week of April.)

It is proposed that residents’ display discs and instructions will be distributed in the week commencing 24 April, and the survey carried out until the end of May.

Once the numbers are collated, they will be presented for discussion at an open meeting: precise date to be confirmed, but hopefully the first week of June.

The Council has stated the solution that is agreed at the open meeting will be applied for a six-month trial period only in order to enable residents to test and assess the result. Following this, the arrangement can be adjusted or changed completely as deemed appropriate.