Richmond Council are consulting on imposing a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) (recently renamed "Community Parking Zone" to make it sound like it is some sort of benefit) across North St.Margarets including Ranelagh Drive. This is one of the few remaining bits of free parking near the Thames in Richmond, it runs parallel to the river just upstream of the half-lock. Yes it gets a lot of commuter parking during the week, but NO it is not a residential road, and it is subject to flooding on a good spring tide so commuters have to be careful and in my experience there are usually spaces available there.
I know a lot of you park and fish from there, I know of at least one disabled family who use it, it might not be the greatest spot but it isn't bad and you can practically fish from the car. Of course you can also park there and walk across the half-lock giving you access to the towpath from Richmond to Kew (and beyond if you don't mind a long walk).
How ironic it would be if we lost this amenity in the 800th year of Magna Carta.
For sure the proposal is "only" Mon-Fri 10am-noon, but that could be inconvenient to some and is the thin end of a wedge, we must oppose it in Ranelagh Drive on principal.
Chris Gadesden brought this to our attention at the AGM and I'm really sorry to admit I rather forgot about it. He emailed us again last week though:
- Chris Gadesden wrote:
- Hi guys it would appear that my worst fears have come true. As of the 1st of July parking at St Margret's opposite Richmond lock will be prohibited Mon through to Fri. Single yellow lines have now been painted in River Lane above Petersham meadows too. Another nail into the coffin of tidal Thames fishing. Any one want to buy a boat?
Regards Chris Gadsden. A.K.A. Crispy Duck.
P.S. Photo from the steps above lock opposite the parking I have enjoyed since I was a lad.
Now all is not yet lost. Chris' fears are not quite realized yet, there is a second stage consultation (they seem to do this by wearing you down, divide-and-conquer!) which ends on Friday 3rd July. We beat this at Cowey Sale and we can beat it here.
Here is the link to the consultation - you need to put your address and postcode, but it does not matter that you live outside the borough. Go for the "loss of amenity" and "Magna Carta 800" angles. https://consultation.richmond.gov.uk/highways-transport/st-margarets-parking-review-zone-s3
Get your responses in as soon as possible. They only accept 50 words, so a long rant (which I started on, before I realized) is not possible. Here is what I submitted on the club's behalf:Thames Anglers Conservancy strongly oppose the loss of free parking in Ranelagh Drive. This is one of the few free and accessible parking places near the Thames around Richmond. Loss of this amenity would be ironic in the 800th year of Magna Carta, which set out free fishing rights.
Write a variation on that or try some of these, keep it varied. I left out explicitly mentioning "disabled" because the council might consider that a blue badge would provide free parking anyway, and legitimise this imposition - but if you have any special needs then do of course put that in.I strongly oppose the loss of free parking in Ranelagh Drive which will result in loss of angling amenity on this unique free stretch of river. I regularly fish this area with my father who, whilst not disabled, has difficulty walking long distances. This is not a residential road.This is one of the few free and accessible parking places near the Thames around Richmond where anglers can park and fish. The road is non-residential and subject to flooding on a spring tide, you cannot reasonably charge to park there in any case.It is ironic that on the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, which granted free fishing rights on the Thames from Staines to the estuary, Richmond council should seek to limit access to this valuable amenity.