If you are not aware Roehampton University has provided a Travel Plan as part of its planning application (2016/4091). This document is interesting more what is does not refer to, that being student car parking in the local area and links in with the recent application for the planning application of the portable cabins (2016/1385).
This document might be of interest to the entire ward and below is what one resident has written about concerning the Travel Plan.
START OF LETTER
The Roehampton University Travel Plan is a glossy document lacking in any substantive information that is meaningful. It is devoid of any mention of the impact on the local community and the environment and in short is a document which needs to be rewritten to provide something more meaningful for the ward in which it resides. Additionally, given the lack of detail it would appear that there is no holistic strategy for car parking in the Roehampton & Putney Heath ward.
The following comments and questions regarding the document are based on the sections of the document.
Forward (Page 4)
The 2014-2019 Strategic Plan highlighting seven points. None of which addresses the need for suitable parking capacity on the University premises. The point which most closely resembles any reference to this is point 2, “Utilise the campus teaching and research space as effectively as possible”.
Comment: This needs to be updated to reflect the need to provide suitable car parking capacity for staff and students, especially for those students whom live on campus and have cars.
Policy and Best Practice (page 5)
With regards to the comment “student residence with 356 bed spaces (C2 Use Class)” there is no comment of how many of these students will have cars.
Question: How many of these 356 bed spaces how many students will be estimated to have cars?
Question: Added to this question, for the other campuses which are being used, how many students are estimated to have cars?
Question: For the “200 delegates with 30 bed spaces for overnight guests”, it is assumed they will be parking on campus?
Question: “The new development will effectively be car free with the only vehicular trips relating to deliveries and disabled students and visitors”. Given the library is supposedly to be open to the public to use (http://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/news/14382268.Work_begins_on___34m_library_project_in_University_of_Roehampton/?ref=mac ), if driving to the premises where will the car park?
Benefits of Developing a Travel Plan (page 6)
“Reduces the demand for parking spaces” is a questionable comment. By not having car parking spaces on premises for students this is not reducing demand, rather this is shifting the problem to the residents of the Roehampton & Putney Heath ward as the parked cars will be scattered about the ward, especially in areas such as Dover House Road area, the Alton Estate, and Roehampton Village.
“Helps to reduce congestion on local roads” is a farcical comment. The university does not permit students to park on campus, see below;
Given this, it was part of the reason for the 250 plus objections to the University’s planning application (2016/1385), and was referred to at the Putney Society event (September 2015) titled “Roehampton University and how it relates to the local community” at the University by Dover House Road area residents which commented on students parking their cars there and walking to the university (https://roeregeneration.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/roehampton-university-and-how-it-relates-to-the-local-community-24th-september-some-comments/), and could be part of the explanation for a Medfield Street resident commenting at the recent Let’s Talk event in Roehampton on September 12th that there was a severe shortage of car parking spaces in the area. There are those on the Alton Estate that believe that this is causing problems for locals parking and is resulting in fines being issued to them for parking in spaces where they should not. This comment “Helps to reduce congestion on local roads” is whimsical at best and does not address “the environment and the local community”.
Site in context (page 7)
The comment “daily users expects on site each day include approximately 2,000 staff, 8000 students and 100 visitors and deliveries”. This comment is very important as it relates to comments later in the document.
Public Transport (page 10)
“Barnes is the nearest station which is located in Travel Zone 3”. It should be worth mentioning that if coming from to Roehampton via Putney, it might be tempting to use Putney Station, East Putney or Putney Bridge and take the buses from there. The reason being that these stations are zone 2 and that this would be cheaper. This is also important and will be referred to later.
Travel patterns (page 13)
The below table raises many questions that need to be addressed.
There are Student figures for 2014 which do not provide any substance as it does not have any comparative data.
Based on the table data, this implies that on any given day there is a need for student parking of 816 cars a day! This is worked out by car share 1.4% + drive alone 8.8% = 10.2%. And 10.2% of “daily users expects on site each day include approximately …….8000 students” (page 7) is huge amount of parking requirement, especially bearing in mind that student car parking is not on the university premises.
Question: Where do the students park? This needs to be included within the Travel Plan and addressed, especially with regards to how this impacts the “”the environment and the local community” (page 6).
Please note this data may not include the parking requirements of those students living on the various campuses whom have cars.
Question: Where do these students park their cars? This needs to be included within the Travel Plan and addressed, especially with regards to how this impacts the “the environment and the local community” (page 6).
It is assumed that the number of students with cars would likely be higher for if the table highlighted an aggregation of how the journey to the University is completed this would increase the numbers of “car share” and “drive alone”. For instance, if the question was how many students traveled by one or more of “walk, cycle, underground, train, bus” the volume of students as a percentage would be less than what is indicated in the table. Between these forms of transport they add up to 68.6% which does not represent the volume of students as a student whom took a train to Barnes then walked or took a bus to the university has used two forms of transport. The number of car users might be higher than what has been approximated earlier.
Question: of the 42.0% of students whom walk to university, how many live within student accommodation? It is assumed that these figures are included and should be treated separately.
Question: This provides no detail regarding which stations are subject to increased student traffic flow and what is the reason for this lack of information. For instance, “train” features across both students (16.3%) and staff (17.9%) highly, and which station is used more frequently, Barnes or Putney, and how does this fit with the TFL transport strategy for the area, for instance, does this cause bottlenecks for the are at a given time, such as the 72 or 265 being capacity constrained during certain hours of the day. A resident remembers going to Kingston University to study and during the morning rush it would be difficult to catch the 85 bus from in and around Medfield Street to university and would have to miss one or two buses as it was filled with students going to Kingston University.
Analysis (page 14)
It is worrying that there is an increase in staff using cars to get to work at the University as stated within the Analysis section.
This raises the prospect that there might insufficient parking needs for the University staff, if not now perhaps at a later point. There is a possibility that staff could also be parking in and around the Roehampton & Putney Heath ward contributing to additional car parking pressures on locals.
Question: Given staff are allowed to park on University grounds, I would expect to see this survey include numbers on how many car parking places there are versus the number of cars it needs to cater for. Can it be explained as to the reason(s) this information is not included within the survey?
Objectives and Targets (page 15)
Both the Staff Target and Student Target tables are almost meaningless without volume numbers next to the percentages. For instance, using the (likely conservative) 10.2% referred to earlier, this equals a requirement to cater for 816 student cars during on any given day. Reducing this to 9.5% is 760 on the assumption of no increase in student numbers. Now, if the student number of 8000 increases say to 8200 that is 779. Meaning, rather than 56 car parking reduction this becomes 37.
Comment: These tables should have volume figures against the percentage figures along with volume differences, e.g. The 56 and 37 numbers mentioned.
Management and Monitoring (page 17)
It is interesting to think that the only survey years mentioned are 2010 and 2014, and students figures are not available for 2010. The 2014 figure is based on 31st January to 7th March which is two and a half years old.
Given the amount of new properties being built in and around the area and the supposed interest in encouraging the reduction of cars coming to the area it is surprising to think that data this old is being provided.
Question: “November” is mentioned as the next date for such a survey though there is no comment as to when the results will be published by and this should be included within the document.
A need for more exacting numbers should be considered as the lifting of the student cap could impact the car parking numbers directly or confuse the understanding of what they mean, especially in terms of any significance.
The Roehampton regeneration is yet to happen and there could be student housing contained within it and of course this would raise the prospect of yet more car parking capacity constraints.
The portacabins at Whitelands College, planning application (2016/1385), which was withdrawn and not yet resubmitted at the time of writing this, have temporary teaching facilities on top of 78 car parking spaces. Putting that into perspective that would cater for about 10% of the 800 students which is estimated to need car parking throughout any term day.
It is not accurate that no neighbours should be consulted. Given that there is clearly a gap in matching University student numbers and where they park, all residents within the Roehampton & Putney Heath ward should be considered as neighbours, especially if there is a linkage between local residents now being fined as the result of a lack of overall understanding of the ward’s car parking requirements.
This document is glossy and is insufficient in detail to obtain any meaningful information from it, especially from the perspective of a local resident. There needs to be a comprehensive strategy which links in with the University as a whole and not this piecemeal approach. There needs to be a ward strategy in place for car parking. If the University wishes to expand it needs to cater for its students parking requirements, and provide comfort to locals that public transport will not be adversely impacted, rather than leave the issue with the residents surrounding it.
END OF LETTER
If you wish to comment on the application the instructions can be found by clicking on this sentence.
To locate the documents and the planning application, click on this sentence and enter the planning application number 2016/4901.
Feel free to copy and paste any parts of the letter that you think is appropriate though bear in mind the cut off date of 20th September 2016.
Related documents of interest:
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For a different view of Roehampton, especially the Alton Estate
Alton Regeneration Watch website – http://www.altonwatch.org.uk/page5.html
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