Debate

Hedon Transport & Parking – Need to ‘think big’

THERE is a perception that Hedon Town Council like most parish councils is all about ‘the little issues’ in an area; ‘the dog muck and grass cutting brigade’. There is nothing wrong with that – local councils need to constantly address such issues – and dog fouling is arguably by far the most complained about issue in our neighbourhoods! However, the real strength of local councils is when they bring local knowledge and imagination to bear on the bigger issues. The issue of parking and transport is one such issue.

At Hedon Town Council meeting last night the regular issue of parking and transport issues in the town were discussed once again – but there did seem to be a new added factor introduced into the discussion, summed up by Councillor Terry West in regard to proposals to develop the old railway station for new car parking facilities: “We’ve got to ‘think big’,” he argued, “rather than tinker about at the edges, we should back a proposal that is going to make a significant difference to parking in the area.”

Terry West at the land behind the railway yard which he believes could be a 40-45 place car parking area

Councillor Terry West in February this year at the old railway station land which he believes could be a 40-45 place car parking area

Old railway station car park

Existing car park at the old railway station

Councillor West was commenting on ideas he originally raised that the land formerly part of the old railway station, the front of which is currently used as a small car park, could be developed as a much larger facility.

Early discussions between the Hedon council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council who own the station land, considered ideas that would increase the number of car parking spaces there by a few, or bigger projects creating up to 34 new spaces. And Councillor West firmly believes that the council should be ambitious in its intentions, arguing that over 30 new spaces could offer full-day parking away from the town centre and yet is only a short walk away. This would reduce pressure on town centre parking.

Ward Councillor Mike Bryan explained that the East Riding Council would ultimately decide on any such project and would design and implement the best solution based upon the funding available, but Hedon Town Council would be expected to make a financial contribution too. That financial contribution would come from the town’s precept i.e. from funds raised by the local council tax contribution that Hedon residents pay. Discussions are ongoing.

Cllr. West was not the only councillor ‘thinking big’ at the meeting. Councillor Steve Gallant has been designated as the Hedon Town Council’s new Transport Champion and as such will liaise with the East Riding Council on its parish transport toolkit. The toolkit, explained at last night’s meeting by invited ward Councillor Sue Steel, is designed to help local communities identify their unmet transport needs and look at solutions for meeting those needs. In an idea, initially explored just for Hedon in 2014, Councillor Gallant suggested the council investigates feasibility of an externally funded, ward-wide local transport solution aimed at reducing the local vehicles travelling into Hedon from the surrounding villages. This would involve encouraging drivers from Paull, Preston, Thorngumbald and perhaps Burstwick, to leave their cars at home when travelling to Hedon and use a locally provided transport service instead.

Another ‘think big’ idea from Councillor Gallant was to place on the general political agenda the need for a new Hedon/Preston bypass being constructed to take traffic away from travelling through Hedon and Preston. Whilst not a new idea it is certainly not being actively considered at the moment.

Imagining solutions to problems would seem to be an essential requisite for a politician. After all, the existing Hedon bypass will have started off as ‘an idea’ over 25 years ago. Of course the real skill is realising those solutions and breaking down a major project into what can be done now, in preparation for what needs to be done later.

Note: This article is based on notes made whilst attending the meeting of Hedon Town Council. It is not a record of any decisions made by the council, but merely interpretation of the discussion that took place.

19 replies »

  1. Hi car parking in the centre of Hedon is mostly caused by people visiting the 2 doctors surgeries, patient numbers have increased and with it the number of people traveling by car from the nearby villages.
    If you have 4 doctors on duty at each practice, each one seeing a different patient ever 15minutes, that’s 32 people per hour. In my view this is the main reason for the parking chaos around the centre of the town (plus the large number of staff that park close by).
    I think the doctors do a great job, but say that they both amalgamated and moved, to the under used Rosedale centre. The Doctors would have plenty of space, only one lot of staff (cost savings) and the centre of Hedon would see a great reduction in the number of cars.
    Something worth thinking about, Hornsea , Withernsea and Beverly use one main building, maybe a way forward?

    Steve Wood.

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    • Great idea in theory Steve and it has been thought about in great detail. Hedon Group Practice, Church View Surgery and Rosedale are 3 separate business enterties.
      The cost of such a move back in 2012 was estimated at over £2 million. None of these businesses are in a position financially to take on such an expense.
      The East Riding doesn’t have money thrown at it unlike Hull. For example the Elliot Chapel Health Centre down Hessle Road cost approx £11 million to build at no cost to the GP surgeries that are housed there.
      Church View Surgery has a field behind its surgery that they wanted to create into a car park to share with Hedon Group Practice Staff to alleviate some of the parking issues but planning was refused by the council.

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      • Hi Sarah
        The £2 million pound cost should not be to much of a burden split across 3 business’s. savings in operating costs from amalgamation ( one reception, one dispensary, one set of managers) + the sale of 2 very large properties in the centre of Hedon should go a long way, get some funding from the council, and it would be a goer. Just needs some work on the project. If done then room for more differing services would be available.
        Steve Wood

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  2. I live on Church Lane and am heartily sick of not being able to park on my own Street. Made much worse since Methodist Church chained off its car park. What about resident only parking? I am sure several of us would be glad to pay a yearly fee and I bet they feel similar on George Street. At the moment we are the town’s free car parks.

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    • I fully agree with you on that one kath. I live on warn avenue, and although I have my own drive it is often difficult or even impossible to get on or off it due to cars parking accross the drive entrance. The ridiculous part is, that the people who do this also have their own drive, which can accomodate 2 cars. But they park on the road as it is easier than manouvering their vehiicles on to their drive! A very lazy mindset has crept into car drivers over the years and I do believe it has reached an unacceptable level! Resident only on road parking is the only sensible solution, and if you have a drive you dont get a permit.

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    • Resident Parking schemes would be run by East Riding. I believe they are testing it in some parts of Beverley. However, be careful what you wish for. These charges soon become an easy revenue for councils and the cost rockets. I lived in Chiswick where they were common. if you had a drive, which I did, no charge. But if you needed onstreet parking the charges could be hundreds of pounds a year, just to park outside your own house – and I don’t think anyone would welcome that !

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  3. As an east Hull ite now, has any more been mentioned/investigated/ funding available or otherwise?? recently for a possible ‘Park & Ride’ into the local Hedon area, as we all are aware of land possibly at the Saltend area probably? -albeit it is owned by HCCC..could it be available……………………??

    If such a scheme could be set up – who would fund it, or would it add the more congestion on Hedon road with more cars travelling the one mile each way, to utilise this project, if it were to happen. ?

    Alternatively, is there any land available/ convenient, to be used for a P&R scheme to the east or south of the ancient town?

    If it happened – would it be a variable proposition, we would never know until the scheme was available
    for use……………

    With more car users each year currently, common sense tells me that the Hedon parking problem will only gradually become worse, as has been mentioned in these columns already.
    Many folk reckon they don’t have the time/inclination to walk 300/400 hundred yards, after finding a park in the towns outskirts, to do their shopping et al, in the town centre.

    One wonders, are we our own worst enemies in this matter?, (or we could be?), I personally parked out of harms way for a 45 minute stay, walking about 300 yards each way to do my task during this morning. The exercise would be beneficial as well! Food for thought……………….

    Cheers, Malc.

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  4. In principle thsi does appear to be a good idea! The parking problems have existed for as long as I can remember and they are only going to get worse in the future!
    My main concern however is this, car drivers are a lazy lot! Many of the cars causing the parking problems will be owned by people who live within easy walking distance of the town centre anyway.
    They use their cars, not because it is a necessity but because it is easy, they want to get out of the car and walk straight in to the shop they are visiting. In many cases the proposed car park may be a similar distance from the shops as the drivers home! So the serious question has to be asked will it actually get used in the manner that is intended and alleviate the problem in the town centre? Or will the problem just continue, whilst providing a new hideaway for groups of youths to gather in their cars/ mopeds and so create a whole new problem for the authorities and local residents?

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    • The intention is that the new car park be for long term parking, so people who work in Hedon primarily. The idea being that the car parks close to the shops be short term, available only for a couple of hours at a time for shoppers and visitors. The extra places should mean there is absolutely no excuse for those lazy drivers who park on yellow lines and the bus stop because “they’re only going to be 5 minutes”. But East Riding need to enforce the regulations.

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      • I know, but how are you going to police that? People who work in hedon are still going to park as close to their work as possible. Do you really think their social conscience will prompt them to set off five minutes early to use the new car park? Or do you think they will continue as they are now?

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        • No one is saying the extended car park would solve all our traffic and parking problems. That is why we are looking at other ideas like a local bus service and even looking at the possibility of a new bypass to the east of Hedon and Preston. But they are more complex and costly than extra parking space.

          The “carrot” is there in terms of extra spaces. But I agree a change of mindset by people is required. A “stick” in the form of enforcement is needed. Parking regulations have been tightened by East Riding, and it is their duty to enforce the regulations. As a Council we have requested additional visits by traffic wardens. If people think they are not going to get caught, many will continue to break the rules.

          Ultimately is down to people’s behaviour. But that can be changed. Seatbelts and Drink Driving were once flouted, but attitudes changed. Maybe people can be persuaded by peer pressure to do the Right Thing ? But that’s down to all of us.

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          • I fully agree with you on this one steve,, the motor car has become a social disease in our town centres, and reforms are required everywhere! Not just in the town centre as kath from church lane has pointed out people will simply leave their cars anywhere they can fit them! There are times on church lane when it is difficult walking along the footpath there, as it is very narrow and inconsiderate drivers often encroach on the narrow pathway.we need to discourage cars when they are not essential, not just provide them with more space!
            There are no cycle racks or motorcycle bays in hedon. I cycle a lot but always prefer to walk into hedon as there is no safe place to leave my bike!
            Has any thought or research been put into providing safe bicycle parking or a designated motorcycle bay?
            Every bicycle or motorcycle parked in the town centre is one less car!

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            • Thanks Stuart, I think you make great point about the need for a bike rack to encourage cycling instead of driving. One I’ll raise at our next council discussion in January.

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  5. I’m delighted to be given the responsibility of leading on Public Transport for Hedon Town Council.

    One of the first things we will be doing to assess the feasibility of new transport services is consulting the residents of Hedon and liasing with the other parish councils in South West Holderness to see if there is enough common ground to work together on solutions.
    So,as well as reporting back to Hedon Town Council on progress, I will keep HU12 informed and welcome your feedback.

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  6. Your concern noted Shirley, and thank you.
    However, IF the long term parkers use the station car park that will release spaces in the town centre for use by all short term parkers, including those who have difficulty walking.
    But we all know it’s a big IF. !!!
    By the way, using official parking guidelines, there are apparently sufficient disabled spaces around the town centre.

    John Dennis.
    Cllr. ERYC

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  7. That is a great idea to take cars outside of Hedon only a short walk from the centre but what about disabled drivers. There are not enough spaces outside Couplands to cater for them. When the market is on they disappear. Disabled drivers could not walk the short distance from the allotted car park. By the way it is a good idea but for the disabled.

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