Richmond Council launched its second stage consultation last week to get Teddington residents’ views on the final proposals for the new Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs).
This comes after the council approved the introduction of several new CPZs across the Teddington and Strawberry Hill area in January.
The council is consulting with residents in CPZ approved areas to refine preferences for operational hours and with residents situated outside the proposed zone to see whether they wish to be included.
Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Elengorn, 77, claimed that pressure for controls started about 20 years ago but increased after a consultation in 2017 under the Conservative council which offered little.
He said: “We promised people the matter would be looked at if we regained control of the council and since then people have been waiting, in some cases very impatiently, for a new scheme.”
Nevele Lewis, 50, of Luther Road, said: “It’s been a very long battle.
“My only gripe is the council took way too long to introduce this – I’m happy they finally have.”
Lewis hopes CPZs will reduce pollution in Teddington and enable him to find a parking space outside his house.
He said that people sometimes leave their cars on nearby roads for weeks at a time as they use Teddington’s public transport links to travel to Heathrow airport.
Similarly, Sarah Hitchcock, 46, of Queen’s Road, said: “I just want to be able to park within walking distance of my house, which I don’t think is unreasonable.”
However, not everyone is optimistic about the introduction of CPZs and a number of local business owners have expressed concern that it might make it difficult for their employees, some of who cannot use public transport to get to work.
Hitchcock said: “I do feel sorry for some of the local traders, but if you listen to them you understand why it’s necessary.
“One of them was saying that she has five staff and they all drive to work.
“Well then there’s six cars on my road of people who don’t live there. That’s why we need it.”
Jeff Brown, 63, of Railway Road, complained about the increased cost to residents who will need to purchase an annual permit.
The current consultation asks residents to choose between operational hours of 10am to noon, which would cost £53.10 a year, or 10am to 4.30pm, which would be £91.
He said: “To me it just sounds like a blatant money grab.”
Councillor Elengorn said: “We don’t do it to make money. It’s labour intensive and a difficult process.
“If people followed the rules we wouldn’t be making any money.”
He added that any money collected from CPZs has to, by law, be spent on the transport budget and cannot be used to meet other shortfalls.
Furthermore, residents pointed out that introducing CPZs on some roads will just push the problem out to roads that do not have them.
Lewis said: “It’s moving the problem outwards as opposed to finding a solution.
“The drive should be getting cars off the roads and creating incentives for people not to use cars for short journeys.”
However, a spokesperson from Richmond Council said they have been investing heavily on cycle infrastructure, earlier this month giving the go-ahead to cycle improvements in Strawberry Vale.
Residents also expressed concern over the efficacy of the consultation process.
Brown said: “People around here feel that even though they say they’re consulting they just seem to go ahead and do what they want to do anyway.”
Councillor Elengorn said this was not the case and the records of previous consultations show that the proposals are based on residents’ responses.
He said: “We’re basically neutral as regards to controlled parking.
“We do it in response to residents’ needs.”
He did, however, add that decisions used to be done very strictly on a road-by-road basis which meant that one road could be left out of a CPZ despite all the surrounding roads being included.
He said: “Although we’ll give a lot of weight to what you say in your road, we will look at the wider area also.”
The second stage consultation opened on 24 September and closes on 24 October.
Implementation of these schemes are provisionally set for mid 2022, however Richmond Council say that they are unable to give a firm date at this stage.