Yellow Lines around the Guildhall

The Council has been accused of dithering over yellow lines. The Faversham Society has previously expressed its concern about the painting of yellow lines around the Guildhall. The Society’s position was determined at our July 2015 Board Meeting

After some discussion over the merits of having/not having single/double lines the following proposal was put forward:- That the Faversham Society, does not endorse in heritage areas, the continued use of yellow lines and that a policy on this and street furniture be created.  A vote ensued with 10 votes for, 2 against and 2 abstentions and was duly carried.

We continue to urge the Council to undertake an urgent review of parking in the town centre.

The Faversham Society remains opposed to the painting of yellow lines in conservation areas and requests that a full review of parking and traffic management in the town centre is undertaken.

There are number of questions to be considered:

  • Is parking in the town centre after 18:00 desirable to support the evening economy?
  • Are yellow lines necessary in order to regulate where people park and for what period?
  • Enforcement is a major issue – will painting yellow lines achieve the changes in parking behaviour expected?

Yellow lines cause significant visual damage  in the historic core. A Traffic Order could be used to permit short term parking in the town centre after 18:00 to enable people to pick up takeaways in the town centre, and ensure that those parking for a longer period of time park in the car park.

It is also important that parking by the able bodied does not deny space for blue badge holders. Presently huge delivery vans regularly blocking Preston Street, forcing disabled drivers up on to the pavement, cyclists career the wrong way down the street scattering pedestrians who are forced to walk in the road.  It is frequently impossible for disabled drivers to park in Preston Street  after 18.00 hours, as the able bodied don’t use the  car parks, preferring to park in Preston Street denying space to those with disabilities.

Historic England provides relevant advice on yellow lines in historic area
Historic England (2008) Streets for All Parking Restrictions without yellow lines

Although the Society does not support yellow lines, we would point out that 50mm lines are all that is required in Conservation Areas.

In 2013 the Minister  Norman Baker said:
“No one wants to see unnecessary yellow lines blotting our towns and villages when there is an alternative. They are a clear eyesore that can be intrusive and can have a huge impact on the look and feel of our streets, particularly in historic town centres or conservation areas.
“I encourage local authorities to think about the use of restricted parking zones. They can be used to improve the visual impact of the street while providing clear information to motorists.”

Chapter 3 of the Government’s Traffic Signs Manual also provides relevant guidance on alternatives to yellow lines
www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223943/traffic-signs-manual-chapter-03.pdf

12 Market Place and our Charters

The Board supports the creation of additional museums in  the town and the restoration of buildings of historic interested. We have not yet considered the planning nor the financial aspects of the current proposal and have neither endorsed nor objected to the current proposals.
At its meeting on 23rd February, the Board was able to consider the news that the Faversham Town Council is planning to purchase 12 Market Place to house our town’s remarkable collection of medieval charters, including the Magna Carta.
12MktPlace
The Society welcomes the Faversham Town Council’s initiative which will create a permanent exhibition space for the charters and provide an appropriate sustainable use for 12 Market Street following restoration and refurbishment; it is an important part of our heritage.  The Society supports in principle the creation of another museum focused on our remarkable collection of charters and the medieval period. This will complement the Roman collection in the Maison Dieu at Ospringe and the more modern collection in the Fleur.
We hope that the museums in Faversham will be able to evolve a joint ticketing system which will extend the length of stay in the town and attract more day visitors and tourists.
The Board did not have sufficient information to discuss either the planning or financial implications and we have therefore formed no opinion  on these aspects.
12KtPlace

A correction on ZF5

The Faversham Society was surprised to find itself invoked as a supporter of the ZF5 footpath proposals at the KCC panel enquiry on 22 February. While one of our Trustees gave evidence at an earlier enquiry in 2014, this should not be interpreted as endorsement from the Society as a whole. Our position on the current proposals was published on 15 February, prior to the enquiry, on this blog.

“It has come to our attention that the Faversham Society is being quoted as supporting the plans for the revision and reinstatement of footpath ZF5. The Society has not considered the revised  plans, we neither support nor oppose the proposal there having been insufficient time for the Society to consider the latest proposal.”

The Faversham Society’s comments on the proposed The Mall/A2/A251 roundabout

Submitted to KCC 09 Feb 2016

MallA251

The Board of Trustees of the Faversham Society would like to comment on the proposed alterations at the junction of the A2 and A251 as follows.

  1. The economic basis for the scheme is not clear. The main aim seems to be to increase capacity for vehicles approaching from the south along the A251, with little benefit for the residents of the Town or for users of the A2.  It would be helpful to make public the evidence that the roundabout scheme represents value for money, specifically in terms of the benefit-to-cost ratio, because the money could be spent on other schemes potentially with a higher yield, for example, a blanket 20 mph limit for the Town as a whole.
  1. There appears to be little benefit in safety terms at the site where the work is to be carried out, and as far as the most vulnerable road users are concerned, the risk could actually increase. A roundabout poses greater risks to pedestrians and cyclists compared with a signal junction, where safe crossing and turning opportunities can be provided.  It seems to us that a quantitative assessment using TRL accident prediction models in this case is vital.
  1. The scheme appears visually intrusive. The extensive road markings, signage and alignment changes are not sympathetic with the local townscape, particularly The Mall as the principal gateway to the Town.  The proposed chain link fencing around the south-west corner of the A251 junction is far from ideal.
  1. Finally, a general comment seems in order. Faversham is a medieval market town extensively zoned with conservation areas whose fabric is sensitive to continuing unchecked traffic growth.  The Society would welcome a clear statement about the County Council’s policy in this respect.  Residents look to the highway authority to develop policies that encourage people to shift from car usage to other modes of transport that are less damaging to the environment.  In broad policy terms, the scheme does nothing to promote other modes and may in fact accomplish the reverse, which in the long run is likely to be self-defeating.

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