St Mary's Church, Thame
By Haddenham Webteam - 5th September 2013 7:00pm
The editor of Haddenham.net has received several items of correspondence in recent weeks from residents of Sheerstock who remain frustrated by the roadside parking problems caused by train commuters who wish to avoid the significant costs of parking at the station.
Their concerns have been heightened by the apparent lack of any apparent movement towards a solution and the recent announcement of extension work scheduled for Haddenham & Thame Parkway, which is likely to increase the number of rail commuters using the station.
Your website editor wrote to management staff at Chiltern Railways to obtain an update of the situation, and was contacted by a senior executive who offered the following comments, summarised here in bullet form for ease.
1. The problem of roadside parking is a very common one — unfortunately, it occurs at many stations throughout the country
2. Chiltern Railways funded the services of an independent consultant to examine the particular situation in Haddenham — although his fees were covered by the rail firm, the consultant was working on behalf of the Parish Council
3. The said consultant has worked with many similar parking issues, and his experience and expertise meant that Haddenham "didn't have to re-invent the wheel" in terms of looking for a potential solution.
4. The consultant was present at the public meeting held in January 2013, along with representatives of Thames Valley Police and Haddenham Parish Council.
5. The meeting was somewhat acrimonious and it appeared that some residents assumed that the consultant was working on behalf of Chiltern Railways — this, categorically was not the case: he was acting primarily to assist the Parish Council.
6. It is likely that, to be effective, a residents-only parking scheme would probably need to be extended to a wider radius of the station than the top half of Sheerstock — possibly including Yolsum Close, Wykeham Way, Long Furlong, Bridens Way and Anxey Way, as well as new developments such as Pilots Place.
7. Studies by Chiltern Railways have clearly demonstrated that reducing the parking fees by substantial amounts makes no significant difference — commuters will still seek to minimise their costs by parking on local roads if they can.
8. As a commercial business owned by shareholders, it would not be possible for Chiltern Railways to offer completely free parking.
9. However, Chiltern Railways would be prepared to make a significant contribution towards the costs of instating a residents-only parking scheme.
10. Following the public meeting, Chiltern Railways were under the impression that Bucks County Council would be conducting a feasibility study, to establish a residents-only parking scheme. The rail firm believe that potential follow-up actions reside with Haddenham Parish Council.