by Alan Dean on 10 May, 2017
Pavement obstruction by parked vehicles continues to annoy many residents. They expect the authorities to do something about it. Of course, the annoyance is caused by many residents and visitors who don’t seem to mind blocking the way for pedestrians and people with child pushchairs and adults with mobility vehicles. I can’t understand the habit today of parking halfway on the pavement when this does not make the road wide enough for two vehicles to pass; no one gains. The Essex Police treat pavement obstruction as a low priority, so rarely take action. The council’s parking partnership cannot take action unless yellow lines exist on the road. Yellow lines are enforceable not only on the roadway but on the adjacent pavement right up to the building line. I have asked for an investigation by Uttlesford’s scrutiny committee into how public dissatisfaction with pavement parking can be more effectively addressed.
The snap general election on June 8th has impacted on the work of the long-awaited Local Plan. We had a 6-weeks’ period of “purdah” – an Urdu word meaning “curtain” or “veil” – before the May 4th county elections. This hang-over term from the Indian Raj means that no controversial announcements can be announced in the runup to an election. Purdah has now had to be extended until after June 9th. So, whilst officers are continuing to work behind the “veil” on the Local Plan, several important meetings have been postponed by several weeks. This is unfortunate because councillors do not want to be stampeded into making decisions in June without the time for making sure they are the best decisions possible. The key decisions needed by July 11th are to whittle down seven proposals for new settlements to two or three. Fingers crossed that public consultation on the council’s preferred options can begin on July 11th!
There is nothing to be said that is new and of substance about the Lower Street car park. It continues to be a mess and a muddle. Geoffrey Sell and I will be meeting with council officers and Cllr Howard Ryles, the cabinet member responsible for car parks, to press for an action plan leading to improvements.
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