Public pressure forces Redbridge Council to change Wanstead parking scheme

Wanstead High Street, where Redbridge Council want to introduce pay and display machines.

Wanstead High Street, where Redbridge Council want to introduce pay and display machines. - Credit: Archant

Redbridge Council has “substantially” changed controversial parking plans in Wanstead, following pressure from residents, the Recorder can reveal.

Cllr John Howard is spearheading the parking scheme.

Cllr John Howard is spearheading the parking scheme. - Credit: Archant

While the local authority still wants to impose pay and display machines in the High Street, it has reduced the area which will require residents’ permits.

Cllr John Howard, cabinet member for environment and sustainability, shared the new proposals exclusively with the Recorder, and promised further detailed consultation.

In the updated plans roads south of Redbridge Lane West, including the Warren Estate and the area around Wanstead High School, will have no parking restrictions.

The Avenue and Grove Park, which come off the High Street, will have a mixture of pay and display and residents’ permit spaces, as a lot of the houses have off-street parking. Cllr Howard told the Recorder: “We have been listening to residents on this issue and they have given us some good comments on the original proposals.

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“We have reflected on the feedback we received and made some substantial changes to the scheme.”

He explained there would be another extensive round of consultation on the new proposals.

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“We will be writing to all residents and meet with local groups, business and employers in the area to make sure everyone’s view is heard,” Cllr Howard added.

Due to the consultation, the start of the scheme has been delayed until March.

The news comes two days after the Conservative group called on the Labour administration to pause the previous plans.

Tory leader Cllr Paul Canal said: “Hundreds of residents have contacted us saying that elements of the scheme are ill thought out, poorly planned and likely to damage our High Street.”

Two Conservative councillors have submitted a formal motion at next Thursday’s council meeting to allow the plans to be paused.

It remains to be seen whether the new changes will satisfy the opposition councillors.

The council announced the controversial plans in November, and they have attracted criticism from residents and businesses.

Popular blog Wansteadium wrote its first ever editorial criticising the proposals.

On Tuesday a petition of more than 2,000 signatures was presented to the cabinet, demanding a full consultation on the proposals.

There is a public meeting about the parking scheme at the Scouts Hut, in Hollybush Hill, on Friday at 7.15pm.

Pick up tomorrow’s Wanstead and Woodford Recorder for two pages dedicated to parking controversy.

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