Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Cllr Keith House, was living up to his job title at the HEWEB Local Area Committee meeting yesterday evening, providing good counsel…
Arriving a little late because of his other commitments, Cllr House [wearing his trademark white suit] had missed a lot of the main business of the meeting but was still in time to join a lively discussion about local parking issues.
Most Traffic Orders were approved without undue difficulty, but one proposal to introduce waiting restrictions in Upper Northam Drive, Hedge End, proved contentious.
The owner of a local Scaffolding business spoke at the meeting to say that the proposed restrictions would destroy his business whilst local residents, Councillors and Planners felt that the turning head where the restrictions are proposed should be kept clear and that restrictions were needed.
The Planners recommendation was to put revised proposals out to further consultation, having invovled residents and businesses in developing those new proposals, but the problem faced by HEWEB was that this would delay the less contentious and much-needed restrictions at the opposite end of Upper Northam Drive and West Road. Explaining the problem Cllr Welsh commented;
“There’s a long-running problem in Upper Northam Drive. I get phone-calls and emails about it virtually every day.”
The meeting was heading towards agreeing the recommendation, perhaps encouraged by the conciliatory comments being made from the public gallery, when Cllr House found an opportunity to speak, saying…
“The situation doesn’t need consultation, it needs mediation. We seem to have the bare bones of an agreement here. We need to get the residents and business together and work out a solution which doesn’t require the Council to introduce draconian new restrictions.”
He then added;
“We need to be tougher on the businesses causing a problem at the top end of the road. The problem at the bottom end of Upper Northam Drive needs to be separated out from this Traffic Order.”
Cllr Mick Wheatly, who represents that part of Hedge End and was in attendance for the whole of the meeting, agreed, saying;
“We need to get residents and businesses together. I’m sure there’s a simple solution.”
Chairman of the meeting, Cllr Rupert Kyrle agreed that was an excellent idea. The HEWEB Councillors subsequently agreed that the contentious part of the Traffic Order would be dropped, allowing the much-needed restrictions in other parts of Upper Northam Drive to proceed. The suggestion of getting residents and businesses together to thrash out a solution that didn’t require regulation would be pursued. The option of introducing parking restrictions at the turning head would be put on the back-burner for the time being.