Residents have signed a petition in protest against double yellow lines which they say, coupled with an extended permit parking zone, will take away “more than 100 parking spaces” in Rotherhithe.
Andy Hind, 60, collected 120 signatures for the petition after residents were left “horrified” by the decision to paint the lines around Rotherhithe, including in Rotherhithe Street, Railway Avenue, and Elephant Lane, where many residents park.
The civil engineer, who has lived in the area for 28 years, said the lines would result in the loss of 70 spaces used daily by residents without any issue for decades, and a further 30 or more would be lost due to the decision to also extend zone H parking permits.
“I think there’s been this lack of making sure all local residents were aware of this,” he said.
“I feel they’ve gone in there like a bull in a china shop without any leeway.
“When you go round St Mary’s Church there are all these lovely cobblestones and now they are putting down these garish double yellow lines; that whole nice quaint village atmosphere has just gone.”
Mr Hind said he believed the decision to paint the double yellow lines was made as an attempt to tackle the issue of commuters parking cars around Rotherhithe to use the Overground station – but that this would “just move the problem out”.
He added that the council previously suggested introducing a controlled parking zone in Railway Avenue, which residents rejected, and that he therefore could not understand why double yellow lines had removed all parking in the street if it would have been safe enough for cars to park in bays.
Another resident also suggested that the whole of Railway Avenue could have been pedestrianised to make it wide enough for emergency vehicles to pass through, and that the section where cars have historically parked could have been moved over to replace the current footpath.
Helen Archer, 65, who has lived in the area for a year, said residents would struggle to carry their shopping home from their car and that they had not been given advice about where to park as an alternative.
“You want to be able to park within your community,” she said. “For me, you have to look at all the other things you could have done.”
In a letter to Councillor Ian Wingfield, who was then cabinet member for environment and the public realm but has since left the cabinet, residents also said they were concerned Isambard Street, which is used as a children’s play street, would be turned into a car park by displaced parking.
In response, Cllr Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for environment, transport management and air quality, told the News: “Given the difficulties that emergency vehicles would face on these streets, we have to prioritise safety over parking and unfortunately this area was not designed for the number of cars we see there today.
“Local residents have been consulted about a controlled parking zone with residents’ parking, but there was little support for the idea.
“We have therefore had to look at other ways to keep the streets safe.
“We published plans to introduce double yellow lines in the media, online and on every street in the area, and further notices were put up in addition to this.
“We will be keeping a close eye on the effect of the new parking restrictions on surrounding streets and we will consider changes if they become necessary.”
Anyone wishing to contact the organiser of the petition, please email: email@example.com
Residents can apply to have a play street in Isambard Place here: https://www.southwark.gov.uk/transport-and-roads/play-streets