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Parking at Walkleys

From Kevin S

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Vintage Car Rally is an amazing event held in Hebden Bridge for many years so pleased the sun shone for it this weekend.

But how do they get permission for parking at the old Walkleys Clog car park? Is the owner of the mill a member of the Rotary club or a Vintage car owner, and do they have to pay.

So many big events are held in Hebden but ample parking is only ever offered for the car rally.

Every week and many more at weekend cars are parked along mayroyd and all the car parks are always full, could the council not look into this, Apologies if they already have.

From Jean Williams

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Some years ago now I asked the same question and had a letter published in the HB Times. I also queried why the land there could not be used as a car park on a more permanent basis. I appreciate some work on the bridge would probably be needed but the area could house a lot of cars. Out of interest my partner and I counted about 83 vehicles parked there at that time, when the vintage car rally was on, with room for more. I never did get an answer to my query.

From Anthony Rae

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

This subject takes me back a couple of decades, when we were fighting the planning battles over Walkley's. The car park - which is on Green Belt by the way, and should probably be returned to proper green rather than 'grey belt' - is indeed very large but its access and egress from the main road is poor; across a narrow bridge and via a junction at the main road with reduced visibility. This is why it's not suitable for large scale parking on an everyday basis.

From Kez Armitage

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

"This is why it's not suitable for large scale parking on an everyday basis".

But it could be, Anthony, it could be! Hebden Bridge is being stifled by people who come up with reasons why things can't be done. And that, of course, is part of the problem, and not part of the solution.

The Walkley's 'car park' site is a vast area which would solve Hebden Bridge's parking issues at a stroke, now, and for the forseeable future. Yes, there certainly is a problem with access, but that could be solved in so many ways.

Firstly, traffic lights could be installed on the main road at the clog factory.

Secondly, the car park could be extended to link with the road up to Hebden Bridge station or past Mayroyd Mill. By linking to the station, the ridiculous situation on the main road, where commuters' cars are parked nose to tail from Hebden Bridge all the way to the outskirts of Mytholmroyd would be avoided.

It's too easy to say that we should be discouraging cars. In the best of all possible worlds that might well be the case. But people value their own personal transport - it's one of the last things they would cut when facing economic hardship. Denying this, and trying to force people out of their cars simply won't work. I can't think of a better site that the Walkley's car park for providing a solution to our ever increasing car parking problem in town.

From Anthony Rae

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Before I come back to the details of Kez's post let's restate some other more fundamental difficulties for the Walkley's site. If laid out properly it might provide maybe 120 spaces. When people have accessed the site and parked what do they then do, being a good half mile from the town - walk? This site is occasionally referred to in the context of possible park & ride service for Hebden, but that wouldn't work for at least 2 reasons. Most of the time drivers approaching (and it's just from the easterly direction) would be more likely to take the risk of finding a space in the town centre - where they are normally available outside an 11-2pm peak period - rather than incur a 15+ minute time penalty waiting for a bus, and then the same penaltly on the way back now maybe encumbered with purchases.

And secondly there's the expense: of the P&R bus service, laying out and operating the car park, or installing the traffic lights (Kez's part answer to the access problem - doesn't deal with the narrow bridge 'bottleneck' though). Who's going to pay for this? We should remember that providing a parking service is not a statutory responsible of Calderdale Council, who (as my letter in last week's HB Times pointed out) have recently been making losses on their car park account.

I'm not clear what Kez means when he says 'the car park could be extended to link with the road up to Hebden Bridge station or past Mayroyd Mill.' Which side of the river are you on? - ploughing your way through Crows Nest wood, or bridging across the Calder onto Green Belt Mayroyd? Both 'options' end up confronted by the poor access at Mayroyd Lane - so there's no way through.

Over the years I often find myself having discussions with people expressing their concern about 'our ever increasing car parking problem in town', but despite the fact that I point out that the proper response to claimed parking shortages - after first undertaking the necessary surveys to establish the facts - is to examine not just adjusting the physical number of spaces but also other components such as length of stay, charge, signage - in order to optimise the number of 'parking opportunities', in the jargon, rather than spaces - they I'm afraid just persist in calling for more physical spaces, even though there are few opportunities for these in our confined setting and despite the fact that the other components can be changed much quicker and less expensively.

Hebden's parking provision is dynamic and therefore needs active management, which is why for the last few years I've suggested that the Town Council (because Calderdale won't) should undertake that review task, maybe every 1-2 years. A recent conversation tells me that they won't want to do this because apparently it's too politically charged.

But - having said all that - let me reverse direction and, no longer looking specifically at the Walkely's site, talk about an opportunity for more parking spaces! The recent HB Partnership 2020 Vision document - which received quite a lot of unfair treatment in these columns - contained a proposal (no.23) to extend the Station car park, and a working group of which I'm a member is examining how we might persuade Metro and the Northern Rail franchisee to revive the detailed plan to do this drawn up about 5 years ago, which the latter and Network Rail then failed to progress. This would see the station area developed as a transport hub, linking public, private and active transport all in the right location (and provide coach parking as well). I think the £1billion WY Transport Fund has been mentioned in the Bus Consultation thread. Allocating a tiny fraction of that to 'sustainable interchange' rather than on traffic generating road or even parking) schemes would be a good objective to aim for.

From Pedro de Wit

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Just came back from France and one thing we noticed was that we didn't had to pay for parking. Many villages and towns were busy with tourists and locals but there was not what Anthony would call 'active parking management'. People arrive, find a place to park and leave. Very simple. I appreciate that every location is different but sometimes less is more. Just let people get on with it. If there was parking facility at Walkleys some would use it some wouldn't. No problem. Problems start when you start 'managing' i.e put up traffic lights, charge fees etc. When car parking is free most people will put up with perceived inconveniences. Distance, broken tarmac, bad access are less of an issue if you know you are not ripped off by the council or fined by an overeager parking attendant.

From Andy M

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Pedro: Parking is cheap in Hebden Bridge. If anything, so cheap it probably attracts visitors which rather undermines your argument?

From James Baker

Thursday, 29 August 2013

If Mytholmroyd station had it's own car park and trains that stopped more frequently then I suspect many commuters from the surrounding areas would choose to park there and thus relieve the car parking burden on Hebden Bridge.

From Susan Quick

Monday, 30 September 2013

In response to James Baker re parking at Mytholmroyd station, another point is Mytholmroyd has full wheelchair access, unlike Hebden Bridge station, which is only accessible going to Leeds. Friends of Hebden Bridge have been trying to get lifts installed here. Would it be possible to establish some sort of relay system between Hebden and Mytholmroyd? Yes Mytholmroyd is not staffed but........?

Previously, on the HebWeb

HebWeb Forum: Parking (April 2013)

HebWeb Forum: Parking Charges (Dec 2012-Jan 2013)

HebWeb Forum: Limited Parking Affecting Business (Nov 2011)

HebWeb Forum: Garden street car parking (2007)