Brentwood parking ban a ‘death sentence’ for trade

Plans to partially ban parking from one of the busiest roads in Brentwood will kill trade along it, the county council has been warned.

Essex County Council wants to introduce ‘No Waiting at Any Time’ restrictions for a length of 35 metres on Kings Road.

It will almost half the space people can park but is expected to “noticeably improve accessibility” and reduce congestion.

The county council say many vehicles, particularly buses, find it difficult to pass because of the number of vehicles parking on the left, heading from Brentwood railway station to the high street.

It adds that large vehicles are often required to wait “excessively” and for the bus services this is particularly problematic. Brentwood Station currently provides the only viable location for terminating services in the town, which means almost every service is affected by congestion issues on Kings Road.

However, the changes will threaten the vailablity of shops on the road, it has been warned.

One objector said: “I have had a small shop unit in the Kings Road for 25 years and most of my customers are elderly and rely on the on-street parking to visit the shop.

“Any loss of parking will make it more difficult. There is not enough parking at this end of the town as it is. If the parking is lost, I will have to think about relocating out of Brentwood.”

Another said: “I feel very strongly that your proposed changes will kill the parade making parking harder to access. This will impact my customers and my business.”

They added: “If this proposed change is to accommodate the buses, then it’s a joke. They are the main problem for the delays. The buses try to boss the traffic whether or not they have the right of way. The buses that pass at very best are only 10 per cent full. If the operators were to run smaller capacity buses it would be more economical better for the environment and the congestion would be diminished.”

Another objector said: “Firstly, the parade of shops contains many well established and popular outlets. In particular ‘Geoff’s Remnant’s’ is one of the most beloved shops in Brentwood. It is obvious that removing or altering the parking bays is, in effect, a death sentence for these outlets.”

Essex County Council said: “Comments have been raised about the number of empty/half empty buses passing along Kings Road, which is a very valid point.

“As you will be aware the main multi modal interchange opportunity in the town is provided by the rail station, which of course facilitates interchange with the Elizabeth Line and the wider rail network. The other main attractor in the town being the high street area.

“As such many passengers will alight in Brentwood High Street, with a residual number remaining on the bus to access the station for interchange purposes.

“There is also a regular service operating down to Warley, who’s buses tend to be fuller as passengers have to pass through Kings Road to access the high street.

“This community are regular bus users, who live too far from the town centre to walk or reasonably cycle and as such are likely to revert to private cars, if they cannot access their destination in reasonable time due to delays, adding to the town’s congestion issues.

“So, there are indeed a number of buses serving the area, enabling sustainable access to a wide range of communities. Many of the passengers are elderly, disabled, mobility impaired or otherwise dependent on public rather than private transportation. Although increasingly we are seeing usage by more persons keen to lessen their impact on the environment.”

It added: “The shops’ and business’s needs, along with those of all other users of Kings Road, were given careful consideration and an extreme amount of thought was put into determining a scheme that would holistically bring greater benefits to the widest number of parties.”

Mick Ferris

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