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Parking, continued

From Peter Mitchell

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Had an extremely disappointing day today. Plan was to do Hadcastle Crags in the morning, with lunch and afternoon in Hebden Bridge. The Crags were busy and the Car Park Full signs were up when I left.

Got down to Hebden Bridge and drove round and round several times and all the car parks were full, including ones further out, and on street parking on the outskirts.

Having driven more than 50 miles to get there, and not knowing anywhere else to go, I ended up just driving home in an extremely hacked off mood. I'll not be going back to Hebden Bridge - no point driving all that way if there's nowhere to park.

From Ruth L

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Peter Mitchell won't be driving to Hebden Bridge again? I'm not too upset because I'd rather see people take public transport anyway. More parking just isn't going to encourage greener lifestyles, is it, and the level of parking HB already has is allowing businesses to do well enough, so it's not like extra tourist trade is needed, IMO.

FYI I volunteer in one of the charity shops and we are mad busy at weekends and public holidays, so I don't think the level of parking availability is harming HB at all.

From Eleanor Land

Thursday, 19 February 2015

I can understand why you may be reluctant to make the trip to Hebden again Peter.

The town is very busy this week because it's half term, and we also have roadworks, which have caused some problems.

I do hope you will consider another visit at a less busy time, and I can assure you that the majority of the population would welcome your visit.

From Ruth L

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The issue as I see it isn't whether Hebden Bridge will welcome Peter or not. Have you ever been to Totnes, on any summer weekday? I mention Totnes because it has many similarities to HB, being a small town known for creativity and alternative culture.

Totnes gets so crowded, even on a weekday during the holidays, that people are forced off the pavements into the road. Queues are horrendous and it's no fun.

I just don't want to see Hebden Bridge ending up like that. And if that is what the extra parking would be for, no thanks.

It's clear Hardcastle Crags doesn't need more parking as it gets busy enough already, and the town centre is the same and perhaps more so, as locals need to be able to get around to shop.

From Eleanor Land

Friday, 20 February 2015

The point is if you live in a town like Hebden with quirky shops amidst beautiful countryside you have to expect that tourists will want to visit. I very much doubt if many of the shops would survive without tourism.

If we had a decent public transport system people may use it more, but unfortunately the trains coming into the valley are like cattle trucks, dirty, often overcrowded and expensive.

From Paul D

Friday, 20 February 2015

Well driving to Hebden Bridge, driving up to the Crags, bit of a wander round, drive back to Hebden Bridge, spot of lunch, bit of a wander, drive home. Hmmm. The link here seems to be getting as close as possible to the eating and walking around without erm walking. There's a good case for not encouraging tourism here I think. Cars. More cars. Then people upset because all the cars that aren't their car are stopping them parking their car.

So all the cars are the problem. Let's put a multi storey at Gibson Mill and a dual carriageway up to it. Tarmac Mytholm fields for a park and ride (or park and waddle for the more adventurous) and build another 500 spaces at the station. Then they could just all moan about the queues to park in the many thousands of parking spaces their insatiable appetite for the world to pander to their whims created. It's the countryside. Walk there, walk back. Or don't bother. Tourists are killing this town. Unless you sell cakes or scented soap they're like an irritating invasion of whingeing gnats.

From Zilla Brown

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Hmm, I for one as a person born locally who has been around a long time in this town (ie, since the 60s - can I define myself in that that way?) would like to comment for what its worth.

My observation is that tourism is throttling the life of the residents of the town. You hardly see them anymore. The people I have known for years including myself are usually only to be seen in town before 10.30 am. because that's when the build up of people from out of the area starts.

If I want a coffee in a place that I like and used to go to, or even be able to walk on the pavement without being pushed off into the road (dangerously) on Market street it has to be very early in the day. Forget lunch in the town. You can't get in anywhere.

The air quality on the main road is bad and it chokes me, the air reeks of fumes.I feel excluded from my own town, the shops don't really cater for me/us, the events don't cater for me/ us. I can't get in at the ones I used to go to regularly like the Local History Society and the others have no relationship to my life or "aspirations" and before anyone says it its not particularly an age thing. I feel displaced from my own town in other words, not that I expect any sympathy from anyone, indeed I expect a barracking for saying this.

All that seems to matter now is making money out of the "Hebden Bridge" brand which is surely built on a load of codswallop. Cue Calderdale and other "local" representatives mentioning "the beautiful hills, funky shops, we all love walkers, please more cycling ,etc etc etc ".

No enough. How can it be enjoyable when its crammed! I don't care if more tourists can't park. I think we have reached saturation point thank God. No more please. In fact quite a few less would be good and don't tell me businesses would suffer. There's plenty of people round about to keep them going. What about the quality of life for people (trying in a reasonable manner) to live here?

From Andy M

Sunday, 22 February 2015

There will certainly be an appropriate carrying capacity for the town based on its size, accessibility, infrastructure etc and maybe we're there… or maybe not.

Without a good number day visitors  the town would  suffer badly. Like it or not this town is good place to visit and I for one don't have much problem with it. Parking can be challenging sometimes, and it can be busy, but I still seem to find a place if I'm driving and see people I know every time I go into town - same as I did 20 years ago.

Should there be more parking? Not much I think and I too would rather see more sustainable transport options promoted and developed - after all this town use to regularly have 1000's of day-trippers coming in by train!

From Paul D

Sunday, 22 February 2015

I was thinking how we would 'suffer badly' without tourism today when I came past Calrec. Why on earth isn't one of the global leaders in audio and mixing equipment open on Sunday I thought? How will all those non seasonal, highly skilled jobs be sustained? Same again on Valley Road, a whole manufacturing hinterland I thought, risking ruin by not openly embracing the tourist dollar. Imagine the crack then, as my jaw hit the floor in the square, at the sight of butchers, bakers, high quality clothing retailers, barber shops, chemists, all copying this reckless refusal to open up on Sundays and whore themselves to day trippers on a limited budget.

Then walk round and see what a dump tourism is turning the town centre into. All to line the pockets of a very very few people. It's not about jobs, it's whether you consider the cultural prostitution of a town for the benefit of a few retailers is legitimate. The cheerleaders will yap that it's the only show in town. They're not only wrong, they're reckless.

From Andy M

Sunday, 22 February 2015

So Paul, you're saying we have successful 'local' businesses and tourist businesses who exist to err 'line their own pockets'… well, welcome to the free market!

I think we must live in different towns :-(

From Phil M

Monday, 23 February 2015

Just to redress the balance, I love living in a vibrant town where people choose to come and enjoy theirselves and everyone I know who lives here feels the same.

The lively feel of lots of people, all relaxed, all enjoying themselves makes me feel happy for them, happy for the traders and proud of the town.

Could do with more carparking and could do with better public transport, these two things I feel will always be so.

From Pedro de Wit

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

What I wonder is how these locals recognise the difference between a tourist and a local. Locals can be tourists too! Many locals go to the Craggs. They might even take their car... There are also locals that just go for a bit of a wander. Not kitted out in full expedition gear like 'proper' locals... No these fake-tourists just go to get some fresh air and might even choose to take the shortest route possible straight to the cafe. I even know of locals, I won't mention names, that enjoy browsing our shops, eating 'overpriced' cakes and buying scented soaps! This keeps me awake at night. Maybe someone can come up with a system to define who the 'proper' locals are and bring some good old fashioned order to this crazy town of us.

From Dave R

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

On that note Pedro - I was a local many years ago, but then I became a tourist for a bit, until I then became a local again. As a 2nd time round local, with time to spare (much like the tourists), I walk or use the bus most of the time. I stroll for a coffee in one of our numerous cafes, I sometimes have a Waite's pie and give the crust to the ducks. I browse the shops, I buy cake (but never soap), and on the whole I just meander around the town, passing the time of day with anyone who cares to chat (unless I am in a cafe or a pub enjoying my drink, oh and reading the complimentary newspaper, when I quite like to be left in peace).

So I suppose I am a local but act like a tourist? Or am I still a tourist who thinks he's local?

From Paul D

Thursday, 26 February 2015

A local can only be objectively defined by status of residence. Subjectively there may be issue around culture but anyone is de facto local to a specific area as soon as they make their home there. A visitor isn't. A tourist is similar to a visitor but the purpose of their visit varies, and sometimes the duration but you get the picture. So, local people have their primary place of residence here, live here, most or all of the time. Sorry if this doesn't include any desired subjective notion of who is 'truly' local as (in my view) that's irrelevant.

So of course local people use the outdoors (like wow who on earth farms all that green stuff and whose are those wooly things?) and shop here, including in twee soap shops and cafes. That isn't the point. The point is tourism, unchecked, is the antithesis of supporting a diverse local community, including a retail one.

Encouraging tourism also affects local people, who through choice or not, are exposed to pollutant levels that breach national safe limits. There are groups of drunks going from pub to pub, sometimes 15-20 strong, attracted by the close proximity of pubs. Swearing and urinating. The EDL find us such an attractive destination they stop off every time they have a rally elsewhere, knowing there are few police to interrupt their salutes and insults.

The pavements are lined with litter, the elderly and often others less impressed by this influx of strangers stay away. Yes, locals sit among it, but more and more are seriously hacked off. It isn't us and them, it's tourism that is strangling a small diverse, welcoming community.

From The Book Case

Thursday, 26 February 2015

So, providing jobs, improving the local economy and supporting a diverse range of facilities is strangling the community!

Like many retailers in HB, the majority of our customers are from the area. They appreciate the fact that HB can support an independent bookshop. Its our belief that this contributes to making the town a pleasant place. Likewise, our staff appreciate the fact that we provide local jobs. And those jobs help drive the wider local economy. But all this is only possible because of the presence of tourists, whose spending makes the difference between a viable business and an empty unit.

I realise its one person with an axe to grind, but its a bit off to be told that we're 'whoring' ourselves and guilty of 'cultural prostitution', for having the temerity to open on a Sunday for the convenience of all our customers, wherever they're from.

In addition there's a false dichotomy being peddled here, which is that in some way the existence of tourism means that other sources of employment are somehow prevented from establishing themselves. And, of course, there's a complete lack of positive suggestions as to how such sources of employment could be developed.

We'd love to see inward investment into HB that brought a wider variety of employment opportunities. Of course, that's more likely to happen if the town is a bustling, thriving place than if its full of empty shops and has no facilities.

From Phil M

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Agree 'tourist', 'visitor' or 'local' is a mute point. We are essentially talking about the amount of footfall into our town.

The issues the footfall brings are what you describe albeit you only seem to see the negative points.

If you live in a lovely place with great entertainment and relaxation opportunities, expect people to come and enjoy it. Whether you choose to embrace that of not is a personal viewpoint.

Getting back to the topic of the thread, this causes the need to try and accommodate or influence the chosen method of carriage here and back, a good news story is definitely the TLC Bus service [see other thread], a well run, prompt clean bus service - more obviously needs to be done.

From Anne H

Friday, 27 February 2015

There are all kinds of reasons why visitors should choose to - or need to - come by car, and we should not make assumptions about other people's reasons.

And there are all kinds of reasons why visitors choose to come to Hebden Bridge - who are we to question them? Don't we all like to visit other places at some time or another?

I'm amazed by some of the opinions expressed about 'tourists' on this forum - especially from a community that is supposedly known for tolerance and acceptance!

However, the initial post was about difficulty parking. This is a real problem, mainly at weekends. Surely we can come up with a better solution than 'we're full, we don't want any more tourists'. What about businesses on Valley Road, Victoria Road etc. giving over their car parks to a charity-run public car park on Sundays?

From Paul D

Friday, 27 February 2015

It's sort of amusing when an alternative opinion is always 'intolerant' and views that exist widely outside a coterie are individualised and rendered illegitimate through the allusion to 'axes to grind' rather than points to make.

So, those who make the connection between tourism, parking, the environment and its negative impacts (economic and cultural) are firmly placed on the outside, not 'us' not 'one of us' in our smug complacent insiderness.

A solution to parking problems was a new car park on station road. It's full by 8:00 and full all day. Is that sour grapes after predicting it would be? No just an oobservation that building car parks sucks in cars. Likewise, the on street schemes, residents' permit, had displaced those looking for a free space into every nook and cranny. Just a simple fact. Pollution increased safety compromised, for a scheme that didn't work.

Local less vocal people, older and less wealthy than the online chatterati, they are paying the price, pedestrians, the young with diesel particulates beyond any safe measure in our town. Yes - an axe to grind or a point to make. Scoff at the luddites who point to the nakedness of all the claims that tourism brings economic benefits - for more than what? 2% of the people who live here? We can't park park park cars until everyone is happy. We have to be prepared to make people less happy sometimes.

From Lulu N

Sunday, 8 March 2015

I have lived in H.B for seven years and my Son of two was born here.
I adore living here and thus I have laid down my anchor to stake that this is my forever love.

But I feel shocked and somewhat harassed by the amount of insensitive people that we see upon our daily/weekend travels around this old town.
My son walks everywhere, he explores, babbles and delights in our small adventures albeit to feed the geese, play in the parks, gate closing, puddle jumping or saying bye to numerous shop holders.

It is when people deliberately walk into him or swing their large shopping bag or scowl because he is taking his time looking at something which has captured him, or the now 'too many times' a car has whisked past us urgently hawking a parking spot without a look or thought of 'small Child alert' especially Hangingroyd lane.

I am hyper conscious of all the roads in Hebden Bridge but do not feel it is reflected by some driving enthusiasts. Cars are beautiful killing machines- designed, forged and employed to perform and behave 'beautifully' but in a non forgiving manner.

I sincerely do not want anymore parking to be put in place where we are already choking in a small simmering pot of a town.

Yes, I agree public transport is dire, extortionate and hygienically challenged but hey for some of us there is just no alternative, a lot of us just get on with it and with a smile too!

Too many cars bring too many people, there are not enough solutions to heal the many parking issues. It will forever be a thorn in everyone's backside.

I therefore have to close with the frankness that Hebden looks damn right ugly with its many streets /roads lined with 'alien' blots, come six pm it is back to its former prettiness and thank God for that.

Please keep the discussion to the issue. Any messages containing insults or personal attacks on other contributors will be edited or cut. Thanks - Ed


HebWeb Forum: Plans for large car park near station (Dec 2014)

HebWeb Forum: Parking (October 2013)

HebWeb Forum: Parking at Walkleys (Aug-Sept 2013)

HebWeb Forum: Parking Charges (Dec-Jan)

HebWeb Forum: Limited Parking Affecting Business (Nov 2011)

HebWeb Forum: Garden street car parking (2007)