Thursday, 1 May 2014

Coned Off

The works going on in front of the shops in North Cheam have been in full swing for a while now. Pavements are being dug up and tarmac laid with barriers everywhere. However, judging by the location of this traffic cone here on the left, I'm not fully convinced that everyone involved is entirely at the top of their game.

The plan for the finished result (right) looks quite nice (as these plans always do). Mike Francis the Project Manager told the blog that the front section near the road should be complete in the next two weeks and that we will soon see the new 'terrazzo' paving stones (incorporating marble and granite) starting to go down. The garden areas are designed to help prevent flooding as well as adding some greenery and the abundance of 'stuff' in the middle here is supposed to ensure cars don't park there near the shops.

Some of the shop owners however are worried about the changes to the parking. Veli Gencer who owns The Cheam Food Centre told the blog that takings are down by around 45% while the works have been going on as their customers, whom often come quite a distance to purchase the specialist ingredients they sell, just can't park nearby and so have had to go somewhere else where they can park. These are people who often buy large quantities which are too heavy and cumbersome to walk further than about 30 seconds away. The works are of course temporary but the worry is that they will become used to shopping at these other shops. Mr Gencer also raised a concern that he was promised a gazebo type structure to cover his fruit and vegetable display until the new awnings are put up but was apparently told there was no money left for this. Mike Francis told the blog that the gazebos had already been put up and wasn't sure why they had been taken away again. He has promised to look into this.

However there is also concern amongst some shops that after the work is finished there will be less parking as there were always many cars parked (many owned by shoppers) up on the pavement in front of the shops. These cars will have to all find somewhere else to go. Some other shop owners will be glad to see the cars gone from the pavement as it looked quite unattractive there, however it still leaves the problem of where those cars must now go instead and how that may affect parking space for potential customers. Cheam Disability Solutions have been given special dispensation to allow parking for 3 blue badge holders in front of their shop but people with blue badges probably need to buy groceries and other things too.

Promoted by Ranulph Murray, on behalf of Sutton Borough Conservatives Federation, both of 2a Sutton Court Road, Sutton, SM1 4SY

10 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Guest said...

Looking at the artist's impression, that large expanse of tarmac next to the kerb will become rutted once cars and lorries inevitably park 'two wheels up'.
I wonder why didn't they use the space for diagonal parking bays and kill two birds?

Guest said...

I will definitely not miss the cars. It can be a dangerous area with cars parking up on the pavement. Often the cars will start to reverse without seeing or looking properly for passing pedestrians. You can't always see whether somebody is in a
parked car or van and they then start to reverse towards you, or suddenly appear on
the pavement in front of you from the road. The same thing applies along the area where the fish and chip shop, and veterinary surgeon are.

Guest said...

Anyone else remember this?...

London Borough of Sutton, Mayor’s Outer London Fund 2011-12
Proposals for Round 2, November 2011

Page 14: Issues North Cheam:
"There are loads of interesting shops and characters In North Cheam but because of the roads and difficulties parking, people tend to fly by"

Page 16: Accessibility:
"Traders consistently highlight concerns about parking in the centre and with the quantity of cars which pass through the centre this seems a missed opportunity ... Parking and Loading arrangements through the centre are confusing and don't meet the needs of traders or facilitate 'stop and shop' by people driving through."

April 2014: Sutton OLF Action:
Destroy the already insufficient parking facilities available.

"takings are down by around 45%"

So is Mike Francis Sutton Council's in-house Inspector Clouseau?

Simon Densley (Blogger, Consv) said...

To be fair Mike Francis is only trying to implement what he is being asked to do by the Lib Dem controlled Council.

Mize said...

I live above brogans men's hairdressers, the work was meant to start at the beginning of March and take no more than 2 weeks (letters us residence received stated this). Well they started late and will be finishing late. It has caused nothing but havoc for us residents and shop owners. Lavender and Courtney residents have also been massively affected as those of us with cars have had no choice but to park down those already heavily used roads. My husband spent 45 mins driving around to find a space 2 days ago.

As for the cars being parked there was a danger comment, I would like to point out that there was a clear destiction between the pavement and the area the cars/delivery drivers would park on however 9 times out of 10 pedestrians would choose to weave in and out the parked cars rather than walk in a straight line down the pavement that was provided. My 4 year old knew to use the footpath area not the car area but full grown adults couldn't grasp it!

If the parking situation continues we will have to consider moving as getting ride the car is not an option as it is needed for work. I also know many of the shop owners who have managed to be in one of the hardest highstreet to stay in past 6 months are really struggling one of which is down 80%, !

I hate to think how much worse it will be with the new flats being built with only 62 parking spaces being available for 70+ flats and 5 shops.

We'll see what happens, yes the picture looks great but imagine it with bored up shops where they have had no choice but to close!

Stewart Mackay Conservative WP said...

I second Simon's comment Mike Francis (a project manager) is only implementing what he asked to do by the Liberal Council. He is a very nice chap when ever I have met him. The only answer here I believe is a a change of local government one that has a sound economic plan for WP. your local conservatives are the only ones that have initiated a traffic review fostered relationships with our neighbouring boroughs. We also had plans going forward endorsed by the London Mayor Boris Johnson after being summoned to City Hall. Recent events and wastage only highlights that the liberals do not have a plan and haven't had for some time.

Mary said...

Cheam foods have no consideration for the other traders in this parade at north cheam.Up until the rejuvenation works started,FOR traders and public alike,Cheam food staff and their customers have completely ignored the fact that spaces outside OTHER shops were not THEIR car park !!! I,as a trader on the parade,constantly had to deal with their customers not only parking outside my shop often even having the sheer arrogance to move my open sign in order to park. I welcome these cars being stopped from parking here,it really is no surprise trade is not so good when shops cannot be seen for cars blocking the front of the window displays. As for"where are these cars going to park when the work is complete",well how about parking across in Sainsbury.If their shopping is heavy leave it in the shop,go and get your car and then stop ON THE ROAD and get one of the shop staff to load it into your boot. It is Illegal after all to bump up and drive over the public footpath which is what happens daily in North Cheam.
Cheam foods are claiming they were not given gazebos to protect the fruit and vegetables. They were supplied with THREE gazebos, these were used,taken down by staff at the end of a days trading ,thrown aside and totally destroyed. They now use the green sides of the gazebos to wrap round stacked fruit crates. Hopefully Cheam foods might in future at least try and show us other traders a bit of consideration when the new look to the parade is complete.

AlanRogers1 said...

The parked cars on the pavement there were an eyesore.

Trader said...

The works on the parade at north cheam are almost complete. Mike Francis has done all he can to get things going and he has succeeded. The biggest downfall on the new look parade is Cheam Foods. Already they completely obstruct the view of the bike racks with their stock in the mornings, and despite being told by Sutton council there is to be no cars entering and parking on the forecourt,not only are they allowing their customers to mount the kerb and park on the forecourt,they are parking their own vehicles here. All the work on the parade has been paid for out of tax payers money,allotted by mayor Boris Johnson. All this work,and the inconvenience we have all been put through whilste the works progressed are in danger of being all for nothing if traders on the parade are not forced to abide by what is expected of them now, to refrain from illegally mounting the kerb to park and keeping the area obstruction free at all times.

Trader in the Real World said...

Though I'm sure Mike Francis will be very grateful for the account of the works, as provided by 'Trader', there are a few notable inaccuracies:

1. "All the work on the parade has been paid for out of tax payers money,allotted by mayor Boris Johnson."
If you try looking at the figures provided by Mike Francis, I think you'll find that a total of £212,600 allocated to the public realm has come from the pockets of the London Borough of Sutton. That is £122,500 directly and a further £90,100 from S106. [Why not ask your mate, Mike for a copy?].
And by the way, another minor point, who's pockets do you think the rest of that "tax payers money, allotted by mayor Boris Johnson" came from?

2. "Mike Francis has done all he can to get things going and he has succeeded."
The works were scheduled to start on 17th March and be completed within 40 days. Monday 9th June will be precisely 80 days since 17th March. Taking twice as long to do a job as your own team planned is hardly a success! And particularly since the impact on all the local traders has been adverse - in some cases, strongly adverse, (trade up to 80% down), for every one of those 80 days. [Why not ask your fellow traders?]

3. "The biggest downfall on the new look parade is Cheam Foods."
A bigger 'downfall' was when 'someone' had the brilliant idea of driving a digger over the newly constructed flowerbed, that they had just been created, with the result that the flowerbed collapsed, taking the digger with it! [For confirmation, look no further than the photo on the blog's Facebook page, with only the top third of the digger visible and pointing vertically upwards].

4. Looking at the nearby Worcester Park experience, Mike's team have a recent track record of having to make urgent remedial repairs to their projects (and even remedial repairs to their remedial repairs), so I suggest it's far too early to talk about 'completion' and have any confidence that this one is going to be any different! Look no further than across the road at Victoria House - the artwork plastered over the outside of the windows came adrift with weeks (after both attempts), and then we all discovered 'someone' had broken the windows from the outside!

Good to hear that (somehow) at least one North Cheam trader is very happy and optimistic and (somehow) has avoided the financial pain that this chaos that everyone else has been subjected to - for twice as long as we were promised!

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