Mayor Jocelyn Towns today described Bucks County Council’s proposals for parking in Marlow Town Centre as “seriously flawed.” She was responding to a news release issued by BCC, which failed to acknowledge recent discussions between the two councils.
Marlow Town Council is disputing the validity of the current proposed consultation suggested by BCC, now scheduled to take place in early January.
The Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Chris Funnell held a meeting last week with Deputy Leader of the County Council and Cabinet Member for Transportation, Mark Shaw, at which the Marlow Councillors pointed out that the data being used as a basis for the consultation is seriously flawed – a view substantiated by professional advisers. They also discussed the overwhelming response of Marlow residents and business organisations including the Chamber of Commerce and the Marlow Society against the introduction of paid-for parking in the town centre.
“It’s clear to us from this news release that BCC have disregarded the 7,417 signatory petition we handed over last week, which represents a serious rejection by Marlow of the proposals,” she said.
“We met with BCC last week and delivered clearly, on behalf of all the groups and residents, why the consultation in its current form just will not work, but it seems they have ignored our point of view as well as the huge swell of opinion of the people of Marlow.”
The meeting with Mark Shaw spelled out precisely and in great detail why the proposed consultation is flawed, she said. “The objection and notes handed over to BCC spelled out the defects in the muddled-together proposals and the process of consultation. They are ignoring the needs of businesses, residents, visitors and the disabled, along with the overwhelming voice of the wider community, who are also impacted.
“A key part of the proposal, for instance, would leave disabled drivers with nowhere to park. BCC are proposing to remove the disabled spaces in the centre as well as some of the double-yellow lines around the town. Yet they are suggesting that disabled drivers use double-yellow lines. It makes no sense.”
The BCC news release states: “The County Council recognises there is a demand for more parking within the town centre and a better turnover of the existing street parking spaces.” Mayor Towns points out that this was not evidenced in any review of parking and that additional parking is needed in off-street car parks, not on the roads. She cites evidence from other towns with paid-for parking in central streets, which shows that the proposed changes will have a detrimental effect on the centre of Marlow.
“I want to see an overall parking plan for the town, developed jointly by the Town Council, BCC and Wycombe District Council (WDC),” she said. “I feel very strongly about this, and will do all I can to get BCC to understand that this town works and there is no good reason to change the current on-street parking system. We will fight for a clear and unambiguous response from BCC.”