Parking on Centre Road

Rachel writes…

Lots of residents have been commenting recently about the long line of cars parked up Centre Road. These cars and other vehicles have been creeping up the road, and appear to have been displaced when the Residents’ Parking Zone (affectionately known as an RPZ) was created in Forest Gate North.

I’ve responded to a few threads on Facebook and some messages on twitter, but I thought it would be handy to write a blog post and put all the relevant information we have right now here in one blog post for easy reading.

Centre Road is not in Newham, it’s part of the London Borough of Redbridge (although Wanstead Flats, which it runs through, is managed by the Corporation of London). The long line of cars appear to be a combination of business vehicles, some abandoned vehicles, and other cars where the provenance is entirely unclear. Wherever they are from, it’s clearly a problem, making it unsafe for pedestrians to cross the road, making it unsafe for cyclists to use the road, and providing a line of cover that seems to be masking some crime and ASB, meaning that there is now more fly tipping on Centre Road and a trail of broken glass where the unobserved cars are being broken into.

So what are we doing about it? Well, when the RPZ was being designed for Forest Gate North, officers at Newham informed both Redbridge and Waltham Forest, so that they could consider any action they needed to take as a result. I’ve been in regular touch with a councillor from the Redbridge side, and also with an officer there. Sadly I have to confess this hasn’t had much result yet – I asked for double yellow lines on both sides of the road, was told this idea would be fed into their ongoing plans, then I asked to be kept informed if any parking restrictions were planned. But I only found out that lines were going in on just one side when I drove past the work being undertaken!

My councillor contact from Redbridge, Cllr Paul Merry, has met with the cabinet member from Redbridge with responsibility for parking to ask what can be done here, and I’m currently expecting an update from him. I’ve also been in touch with the Corporation of London, because the line of parked vehicles is so detrimental to everyone’s enjoyment of the green spaces of Wanstead Flats, and have asked if they want to join us in asking Redbridge for some action. It’s pretty clear to me, and to many residents, that what we really need is double yellow lines on both sides of the road, as this is a road that was never designed for cars to be parked along it.

Seyi has also suggested we facilitate a joint meeting between concerned Forest Gate North residents, and representatives from Redbridge, which is a great idea. I worry a little that whilst some of the inaction we’ve experienced is due to the fact that planning parking restrictions takes time and needs careful planning (if you’re one of the residents who sent me petitions and emails asking for an RPZ then you’ll know it took a couple of years to get to a place where we could move forwards) that might not be the whole story. I know of course myself that all kinds of things councillors wanted to get done have been delayed by us all putting time and effort into the election… but I’m also perhaps cynically a bit concerned that Centre Road is not flanked by Redbridge residents, and might therefore not be very high on anyone’s priority list. So if we need noise to be made to Redbridge about the impact of the cars there, it’ll have to be us who make it.

So our next steps are:
– to chase up the Corporation of London to check if they are on board
– to find out the results of the meeting Cllr Merry had with his colleague responsible for parking
– Seyi and I arrange to meet with him or her to share our concerns, including a walk down Centre Road to look at the cars, lack of space for cycling, broken glass and fly tipping
– depending on how that goes, we organise a joint meeting for residents to put their views.

I’m sorry not to have anything more concrete for you, but as ever, we’ll keep you posted.

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12 Responses to Parking on Centre Road

  1. If it was just parking, then just make it official and re-centre the driving line. However, as you correctly point out, the road is now a very unpleasant place. The Fly tipping problem has rather spectacularly moved with the cars, and while I’m incredibly pleased not to have to report abandoned cars and fly tipping seemingly daily, it’s becoming a blight on the area. Agree with you that we need to push this, I can imagine that Centre Road has very little importance for Redbridge – its not something that directly impacts their residents like it does us. IT shouldn’t cost too much to paint a few yellow lines. On a related subject, any news on the neighbouring LBWF CPZ? I can see this moving to that spot if and hopefully when this gets sorted.

    • racheltripp says:

      Hi Brad. Last I heard, WF was consulting on creating parking restrictions in the roads just over the border.

  2. Clare Yassin says:

    Thanks Rachel, this covers all of my concerns and sounds as though it is moving forward, appreciated!

  3. Immy says:

    Thanks Rachel. I am also concerned that parking restrictions being placed on Centre Road (which I support) will move a lot of the problems across onto Lake House Road – do you know if any consideration is being given to here too? The road is already dangerous when the playing fields are in use, and can only get worse with extra parking/fly tipping.

    • racheltripp says:

      Hi Immy,
      From the designs I had, restrictions were also being put into Lake House Road, but I confess I’ve not been down that way so I haven’t checked. IF there is a problem here then I think getting in touch with the local councillors for that road would be the best way forward.

  4. wendyj59 says:

    Good to know that the matter is in hand. The RPZ has definitely had a detrimental effect on Centre Road.

  5. JIm Newman says:

    Thank you Rachel for highlighting the parked vehicles along Centre Road and putting it on the internet.

    I have cycled along Centre Road, which has a 40mph speed limit, for a few years now commuting to and from work. Coming home in the direction of Forest Gate to Wanstead is the most dangerous part of my journey.

    Cars, large vans and coaches drive past the parked vehicles along Centre Road which are cars, large vans and sometime lorries are forced to driving over the centre white line of the road and on the other side of the road. These vehicles are then forced to drive fairly close to the parked vehicles to avoid oncoming traffic and there is now quite a blind bend near the top of the road.

    I try to cycling as close as is safe past the parked vehicles but I am already over half way of my side of the road and fairly close to the centre white line. Vehicles overtaking me are travelling well over on the other side of the road. This becomes a dangerous situation when oncoming vehicles are coming towards them. Again this situation becomes even more dangerous for cyclists when a parked vehicle with its driver seat by the curb side which has a restricted view because of the parked vehicle in front needs to creep out to see if the road is clear to drive off. This forces cyclists into an even more dangerous situation especially when a vehicle travelling at 40 mph and faster at the same time is about to overtake.

    My cycling speed depending on the wind could be about 10mph, vehicles travelling behind me at 40mph come up very fast and overtake quickly. They don’t always give themselves enough time or thought to anticipate the events which could happen as the road has become busier and narrower.

    For us cyclist this has become a very dangerous road and if this parking arrangement doesn’t change I think it is only a matter of time before a serious accident happens. In fact I will now be avoiding cycling on this side of the road.

    Jim 20/07/2017

    • racheltripp says:

      Hello Jim,
      I entirely agree with you. You must have already seen the new double yellow lines, but just in case, I have just blogged about them. A victory!

      • JIm Newman says:

        Hello Rachel,
        Yes I have seen the new double yellow lines. It is such a relief to cycle along Centre Road again and not feel afraid of parked cars moving off suddenly and overtaking cars passing you at 30-40mph and giving you very little room as they pass. Thank you very much, it’s a great victory! Thank you again

  6. Pingback: A result on Centre Road! | Forest Gate North Councillors

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