As local Councillors, we responded to the consultation exercise on the closure of ticket offices in local train stations. The closure of the ticket office at Sutton station, which is in our Ward, was threatened. We responded to the consultation opposing this move.
We drew attention to instances where family members were able to get a cheaper deal on tickets than they could have got buying tickets over the internet by getting the advice of the staff at the ticket office. Having staffed ticket offices is essential to giving people advice on travel. People need advice on travel when they arrive at the station. Having these staff wandering around the station means you will not find them when you arrive at the station. There are particular difficulties for those who are partially sighted or disabled.
The consultation was, after an outcry over the limited nature of the consultation proposals, extended to 1 September. The decision has now been taken not to proceed with the closure plan but we will monitor the situation as effective closure of the ticket office by stealth, in particular the progreesive reduction of the hours of opening, is entirely possible.
Louise, Richard and Trish travelled to City Hall, the HQ of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, on 30 June to join other Sutton Liberal Democrat Councillors in presenting a petition to the Mayor. The petition, signed by over 10 000 Sutton residents, expressed our opposition to the extension of the ULEZ zone to outer London boroughs. Our views on why we opposed the extension of ULEZ can be found in posts further down this site.
Despite our opposition, ULEZ has now been extended by the London Mayor to outer London.
In support of our policies to combat global warming and reduce carbon emissions, the programme to fit electric vehicle charging points in lampposts in our Ward continues. A further consultation exercise is about to take place on the installation of two new electric vehicle charging points in Mulgrave Road, close to the junction with Worcester Road. A preliminary consultation found majority support but few residents responded.
There are now charging points at the following locations:
Opposite 49 The Ridgway
Opposite 26 Langley Park Road
Opposite Foxley Court in Christchurch Park
Opposite 10 Cumnor Road
In Cedar Gardens
Opposite Grange Court, Grange Road
Opposite Thomas House, Grange Road
Opposite 13 Stanley Road
Opposite Fairford Court, Stanley Road
We want to draw attention to the Sutton Citizen space survey where residents should log their suggestions for EV charge points.
The photo shows the first vehicle that used the first charging point in the Ward, in The Ridgway. Given the policy to ultimately phase out petrol driven vehicles, a big and continuing expansion will be needed.
Sutton Council is working with Siemens to install Ubitricity lamp column electric vehicle charging points. Ubitricity lamp column charging points are compact and fit into the door of a lamp column. The aim of lamp column charging is to give residents the ability to easily charge electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles on the street where they live, especially if they do not have off-street parking or are unable to install their own home charging point. Installing residential charging points is important because a key barrier to people switching to electric vehicles is the concern around where they will be able to charge their vehicle.
Not all lamp columns are suitable for lamp column charging points. The lamp columns need to be “electrically suitable”, be positioned near the kerb and have enough internal space to fit the charging point. They need to be sensibly located so that a vehicle could safely park and charge next to the lamp column. The lamp columns also need to be made of metal, not concrete.
An “earth mat”, a small metal grid, is also installed in the footway next to the lamp column. This is to make the charging point “electrically safe” if there is a fault. There are signs to indicate that the lamp column has a charging point fitted, though this sign will not prevent non-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles from parking next to the lamp column.
This is a major advance in our drive to promote electric vehicles and combat global warming.
The owner of 34 Mulgrave Road is seeking planning permission to extend the building – in effect adding an extra storey to the top of the block of flats.
As local Councillors, we object to these proposals. While there is a need for more accommodation, the changes to the building will make it look incongruous and ugly, not good enough for Sutton. The changes will also involve building work that will disturb the current residents of the block The owners have used a mechanism called “prior approval” when submitting their application which, in our view, was introduced by the Government to undermine the planning system. As a result, we cannot take the application to the Council’s Planning Committee, which Richard chairs, for decision by Councillors. We may not be able to stop these changes taking place given the powers of the Planning Inspectorate to over-ride local decisions. However we are seeking to ensure that a number of conditions are stipulated in any planning permission, if one is ever granted, to try to protect the peace and quiet of the building during construction work. These include that access to the roof should be via an external hoist with all materials for work on the roof transported to the roof by an external hoist and not brought up via the well of the building. The interior of the building should not be a storage area or building site. There should be a construction management plan to minimize disruption to existing residents and ensure there are controls on dust and noise, and on hours of work. The contractors should join the Considerate Contractors’ Scheme. There should be a liaison officer that residents can contact if they observe poor behaviour. If scaffolding is erected outside residents’ windows it should only be erected when needed and removed as soon as it is not needed. We would welcome feedback from residents on your views on the proposals. You can look at the details of the application (number DM2012/00430 for 34 Mulgrave Road),
The outcome means that there is little change to the situation in our Ward.
The main outcome is that changes to the S3 bus that might have affected our area have not been pursued, which means the S3 will still serve Cedar Road and Langley Park Road. Changes to the S4 route that affected our area are not implemented and it will still run to Overton Grange school and along Grange Road. We are pleased with this outcome, which means there will not be any detriment to services in our Ward, and points we put into the letter of representation sent by Sutton Council have been acted on.
The renowned artist Lionel Stanhope has brightened up our Ward. The painting, on the railway bridge at Sutton station, is not easy to photograph, so what is shown below is a CGI of the artwork created before the painting was undertaken. What is above, is the painting.
The railway bridge at Sutton station has been brightened up with a painting by the renowned artist Lionel Stanhope, whose art has brightened up many railway stations. Stanhope completed the painting in four days starting on 26 May. Stanhope is regarded by many as a better and more important street artist than Banksy. We have been pleased to support this project which brings an attractive feature to add interest to the area.The façade of the railway bridge, as you come out of Sutton station and turn left,was a patchwork of various colours. The Council first tried to interest Network Rail in making the bridge look more attractive, over four years ago, during the “Sutton Gateway” project, which involved re-paving the area around the station and the installation of the clock opposite Sutton station. The artwork has been mainly funded by Network Rail, with a small contribution from Sutton Council. The parapet of the bridge required extensive cleaning and preparation before the painting commenced. Lionel Stanhope produced a design which incorporates the word “Sutton” in the typeface traditionally used by Southern railway, and a depiction of the historic Sutton locomotive. The locomotive “Sutton” came into the possession of the Council many years ago and is a 144 year old, 28 tonne, 26 feet, A1 class Terrier steam engine. It is currently with a heritage railway undertaking in Tunbridge Wells who have undertaken to restore it. The painting is an addition to an area becoming famous for its street art. Within two hundred yards you can find the remarkable statue “The Messenger”, located directly outside the entrance to Quadrant House in The Quadrant. The Messenger is a statue, a sculpture in bronze with very dark patination, completed by David Wynne in 1981, of a large horse and rider. It was a major commission for the sculptor, who died in 2014. It took four years to complete from his first idea and inspiration, on receipt of the brief – through roughing out, refining and casting in a foundry, to the final unveiling and installation. We are not including a photograph of the statue in this post due to the philistine attitude of the owners of Quadrant House, who do not cherish this artwork and have stuck a notice on the front of it about some aspect of building maintenance, thus disfiguring it. They have been unco-operative in the face of requests to remove the notice. Even more striking is the remarkable mural by the famous Spanish “street” artist from Bilbao, Eva Mena, on a wall in nearby Wellesley Road. This is said to be of the American singer and musician Erykah Badu. The work was commissioned by the owners of the building, Indepth Hygiene Services. It was painted in three days in 2010, when the artist came over from Spain to paint it. It is entirely typical of her street art, which is to be found on walls in many parts of the world, including Egypt, Ireland and Spain, as well as Sutton. Eva Mena is said to be more famous than Banky in her native Spain.
We now have the results of the final stage of the Council’s consultation on parking. The third round of consultation was on a proposal developed from the results of the first two consultations, for a Permit Parking Area in roads in our Ward east of Langley Park Road.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE EARLIER
ROUNDS OF CONSULTATION
As parking is often raised as a problem in the regular surveys of residents on what they like about living in Sutton, the Council asked residents if parking was a problem in their road and what they would like done. Earlier rounds of consultation led to proposals that were not given sufficient support by residents for the Council to proceed with them.
There were concerns that unless
the controls cover the whole local area parking will be displaced into roads
without controls, and “free to park at any time” bays would be a magnet for
commuters and long stay parkers, squeezing out residents. The alternative to schemes
that have these disadvantages is a residents-only Permit Parking Area (PPA).
THE FINAL STAGE OF
Consequently, the Council
consulted residents at the end of 2019 on a proposed PPA. As roads not within
the scheme will suffer from displaced parking if the roads nearby are in the
scheme, the area consulted on was wide, running from Egmont Road to Willis
Avenue and Prior Avenue – including Chalgrove Road, The Ridgway, Mayfield Road,
Farm Road, Farm Close, Upland Road, Kayemoor Road, Downside Road, Willis Avenue
and Prior Avenue.
The results of the consultation are clear – in every one of the roads listed above a majority of those expressing a view on the proposals supported their introduction. In some roads – particularly Chalgrove, Mayfield, The Ridgway, Upland – this was by a large margin. In all these roads more than one in four residents responded to the study, a high response rate for such local consultation exercises, and opinion was more than two to one in support of the proposed parking controls. In other roads consulted there was a lower response rate but still majorities in favour of the proposals. Once a scheme is introduced, any individual road left out will suffer high levels of parking, so any scheme needs to cover the whole area. It is a clear result that gives the Council a mandate to proceed with the introduction of the PPA consulted on.
The way the PPA works is that
only residents can park their vehicles in the road for a “control period”, 9 to
11 AM each day on weekdays, thus removing commuters and long stay parkers. Residents
who need to park a car on the road rather than in their drive during the
“control period” will need to obtain a parking permit to display on the
vehicle, and many residents will want to obtain “visitors’ permits” for their
visitors if the visitors need to park in the street during the control period. There
are special arrangements for carers. As this scheme will involve some costs of
administration and enforcement there will be a charge for a permit, to cover
costs, though all residents can get an initial supply of visitors’ permits
without charge. The Council can cover costs but not use parking charges to
subsidise other services. Parking charges in Sutton are amongst the lowest of
borough. Charges per vehicle are on a scale you can find on the Council website
and start at £40. A similar charge in Croydon is £80, Merton and Kingston £90, Richmond
£99. You only need a permit if you need to park a car in the road during the
“control period.” A PPA involves notices to advise motorists of the parking
controls but there is no need for yellow lines.
Residents will receive a letter from the Council which will set out the timetable for introducing the scheme, later this year, and how to obtain permits.
Many residents are concerned
about parking and we are pleased they have now had the opportunity to put their
view on a concrete proposal developed on the basis of consultation, and a clear
outcome has emerged.
SPEEDING AND POLLUTION
We are concerned that the
removal of parking from the area will lead to clear roads that will attract
more traffic and speeding. In many parts of London, though often more affluent areas,
residents have campaigned to get the traffic out of otherwise quiet residential
streets and onto the main roads by turning roads into cul-de-sacs, thus
creating quiet roads with better air quality and no through traffic. A good
example locally is the gate at the end of Dorset Road which makes Homeland Drive a
quiet, traffic free road. We are interested in the proposals residents have been
putting to us for consultation on such traffic initiatives in our area. Nothing
is currently proposed but, as traffic continues to increase, this is the next
issue we need to look at. Do let us know your views.
The coronavirus crisis has led to the suspension of the Go Sutton bus service, as demand for the service has collapsed due to the restrictions on leaving your home and on travelling. We will petition to have it restored once the crisis is over.
The year-long trial for this on-demand bus service had positive feedback and the service was extended to cover the area shown on the map. You could register online and phone when you want to use the bus. The cost was £3.50 (plus additional passengers at £2) but free if you have a Freedom Pass, like Richard.
The bus service was innovative, on-demand scheme which picked up residents close to where they lived and took them to any destination across most parts of the borough. The scheme started in 2019 and was due to end in May 2020 but Liberal Democrats in Sutton petitioned for the service to become permanent. Residents told us, especially elderly people or those with learning difficulties, that the bus scheme proved to be a lifeline for them. That’s why Liberal Democrat councillors set up a petition calling on the Mayor of London and Transport for London to make the scheme permanent.You can still sign the petition by clicking here . Apart from helping people to get around the borough, the scheme helped us to improve air quality, reduce congestion and cut down on the number of individual car journeys. Please sign the petition.
THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY 2019. THERE ARE LATER DEVELOPMENTS COVERED IN LATER ARTICLES, ABOVE. THIS ARTICLE IS KEPT ON THE SITE TO SHOW HOW THE PROPOSALS EVOLVED.
We would like to again thank residents who have contributed to the two stages of consultation by the Council on parking.
Since some misinformation has been put round in the Ward, we want to summarise where matters now stand – though all the information on the process is on the Council’s website, click on parking and follow the links to the parking strategy.
No decisions have been taken. We await the analysis by the traffic engineers of the results of the second consultation. As Councillors, we only want to do what residents want. We will be guided by the results of consultation and are determined not to impose our own views on this process.
What we know from the first consultation is this. Much of Sutton South Ward experiences a high demand for parking as we are close to the town centre and the railway station. Parking is rationed by having a controlled parking zone (CPZ) but this leads to bumper to bumper parking six days a week in the roads just outside the zone, such as Mayfield Road. The results of the first round of consultation were consistent with previous studies by Councillors, the Council and the residents’ association, in that:
there is a strong majority favouring parking controls in Mayfield Road
there are more mixed views in Chalgrove Road and The Ridgway but, overall, support for controls
there are more mixed views in Upland Road and roads beyond, though less support for parking controls the further you are from the CPZ.
The proposals of officers was to introduce controls in Mayfield, The Ridgway and Chalgrove. It will be interesting to see whether the results of the second consultation mean that other roads, in particular Upland Road, want to join the scheme. The objective of having successive consultations was to let residents have a second opportunity to give a view when they could see what was proposed for neighbouring roads, recognising that any parking scheme will lead to some displacement.
Previous surveys have suggested that there is no appetite for a full CPZ with machines. The solution adopted with success elsewhere in Sutton, including in Hillcroome Road, is to have a mix of yellow lines operative for an hour a day to deter commuters, with some free to park bays. These bays are needed to cater for residents who will need to park a vehicle on the road and they also reduce the amount of displacement into neighbouring roads, which is a legitimate consideration.
An alternative that has been suggested is to have a “residents’ only” parking scheme with residents obtaining a permit to park during controlled hours. Disadvantages are that this scheme would involve extensive signage along the roads involved, bureaucracy, and a cost as the administrative costs of dealing with permit applications would have to be covered by charges for permits. It would also lead to more displacement. We welcome views on that alternative.
Parking has been an issue of concern locally for the 30 years Richard has lived in The Ridgway. We want to tackle this issue though recognising that it is problematic. We are consulting and will do what the majority of residents want, not impose our own solutions.
This concerns a possible new bus route between St Helier Hospital and Epsom General Hospital, going along Brighton Road. This would be of benefit to local residents, particularly those elderly or infirm residents who do not have a car and frequently visit one of these hospitals. I am encouraging residents to respond positively to it.