It’s not always easy trying to keep up with everything going on in the Brookwood, particularly when it is led by SCC rather than WBC. I was surprised last night on my way to the Club to see that parking was suspended on Connaught Road by the terrace opposite the Club and in Heath Drive for the purposes of installing on street EV charging points.
Two years ago I was talking to officers about where in Brookwood a pilot could be run to test systems and see what worked. At the time, it required a minimum of four bays to be converted as the costs didn’t work for fewer than that. I resisted the changes because people I spoke with were none too keen on losing four bays as petrol / diesel engine cars are banned from these bays.
The proposals here are for four bays at the entrance to Heath Drive. These will be EV only between the hours of 08:30 to 18:00, Monday to Saturday with a maximum stay of two hours. Outside of these hours I assume it is the usual free for all and anything may be parked there providing it is legal. The image below should help you get an idea of what and where this is happening.
Straightaway I can see problems, however what SCC have done is begin a consultation process which as usual, has been badly advertised. That consultation started two days ago and runs until March 2nd and is your chance to have your say.
Where I’m more than a bit concerned is that it appears that some works are happening now / this week. I assume it is putting in the infrastructure to support these charging points. Of course, this is before the consultation has even really started. This instantly smacks of a done deal and that the consultation really is a box ticking exercise which is very frustrating.
I don’t have a problem with EVs and they are certainly part of the solution with regard to localised air pollution. I’m not convinced that their overall impact on the environment is less than an equivalent hybrid / petrol car when considering the lifecycle of manufacture through to scrapping. My concern here is that these bays will have a wider impact on what is already a nightmare parking spot and whilst the intent is good, I’m concerned by the number of bays, and the hours of operation.
I’m going to write to our County Councillor and find out what is going on as well as the Portfolio Holder for the environment at WBC as I expect he was consulted. In the meantime may I suggest you have a think about the ramifications of the above and if it affects you then please submit comments via the consultation: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/parking/local-news-and-updates/woking