Parking and the Parade
was reported to be a significant problem for 20% of Cookham
residents, with a further 37% reporting some problems.
The Parade was mentioned as being an area that needed a
facelift. It is
recognised that Cookham needs its retail outlets, and shop viability
is the key to maintaining the range of retail outlets in Cookham
Village and Cookham Rise (this is less of an issue in Cookham Dean).
Solutions to parking problems need to recognise this, and the
proposals contained in this report should not damage the viability
of existing retail outlets.
for the enforcement of parking regulations was transferred from the
police to RBWM earlier this year.
It is too early to evaluate whether this has resulted in a
change to parking behaviour.
remit of this working group was parking and the Parade, but please
note that it did not include parking problems related to schools.
These are being reviewed by a different team.
Group has identified areas where parking could be better utilised.
This would require an agreement between the Parish Council
and the site owners/operators.
Such an agreement is beyond the scope of this team and the
authority of the Parish Council would be required prior to any
discussions taking place.
team reached its conclusions and recommendations having:-
Surveyed the three areas comprising
the three Cookhams.
Observed when and where parking is
Interviewed those directly involved
(e.g. retailers), with the exception of the National Trust, whose
opinions had been obtained by the previous working group.
parking “hot spots” are:-
The Parade and the Station car park
(including Elizabeth House).
Lower road, particularly around the
Around Cookham Dean Village Hall.
is a general shortage of parking in Cookham village.
Parking is required by shops and businesses, residents,
shoppers and tourists, particularly those visiting the Spencer
Gallery. While some
businesses do have their own parking (King’s Arms, the Crown, the
Ferry, Malik’s), the majority do not.
A partial solution for residents had been agreed prior to
this study that would allow the introduction of residents’
permits, in return for a small increase in on-street parking.
is a small public car park on Sutton Road for 18 cars, and private
parking for approximately 25 cars behind the Parish Centre (for use
by the Parish Centre) as well as some on street parking.
Parking is allowed on the north side of Cookham High Street,
but not on the south side. Nevertheless,
delivery vans and others frequently park on the yellow lines on the
south side, creating congestion.
are no opportunities to increase parking in Cookham Village itself.
However, the car park behind the Parish Centre is sometimes
that the Parish Centre agrees, parking on the High Street could be
eased if more local retailers were allowed and encouraged to park
here rather than elsewhere in the Village, and particularly on the
High Street. Signage to
the car park is non-existent, so it is unlikely that many visitors
use this car park. The
car park does not have parking bays marked out, so the parking space
is not efficiently utilised.
to the agreement of the Holy Trinity Parochial Church Council, the
recommendations of the group are:-
To mark out spaces on the Parish
Centre car park.
To encourage more local retailers
to use this car park.
Holy Trinity School
previous Cookham Plan recommended a feasibility study into a new
road and car park from Sutton Road to the field behind the school.
As mentioned above, issues related to parking and Holy
Trinity school (essentially drop off and collection of pupils) will
be dealt with separately.
Group does not recommend a feasibility study for the following
The parking and congestion problems
relating to drop-off and pick-up of pupils do not require the
construction of a permanent car park.
The Stanley Spencer Gallery does
not support a car park in that position as it is too far away and is
not acceptable for disabled access.
Coaches park away from the village in Boulters Lock car park
and satisfactory arrangements are in place.
Appendix E is a letter from the Stanley Spencer Gallery
stating their position.
The car park would be too far away
from the village, so usage would be likely to be minimal while
alternative parking (e.g. on Sutton Road and Cookham Moor) is closer
to the village.
The construction of the road and
car park would be on green belt land and therefore would bring with
it the threat of housing development.
car park on the Moor has the parking capacity for about 35-40 cars.
It appears to be primarily used by people heading for the
river, but it is also used as an “overflow” car park for
visitors to Cookham Village. The
capacity of the car park is adequate the majority of the time but it
is not adequate to meet peak demand.
This occurs from late morning to late afternoon on Saturdays
and Sundays (and Bank Holidays), when the weather is fine and/or
sunny. At these times,
cars use the north end of the car park (this can accommodate around
10 cars), and on the Moor opposite the entrance to the car park. The photograph below shows
1 - The car park on Cookham Moor.
Note the overflow onto the southern area
(click for larger image)
is a gate at the north end of the car park, which leads into Marsh
Meadow. This entrance
is occasionally used for events such as the Cookham Regatta, when
parking is permitted on parts of Marsh Meadow.
Moor car park has been criticised as being unsightly.
It is owned by the National Trust, which is responsible for
its maintenance. It is
recognised that the National Trust has opposed extending the car
park (even though it is used as one on an ad hoc basis), and that
funding is an issue.
previous proposal recommended a new car park on Marsh Meadow, behind
the Fire Station, and the closure of the Moor car park.
parking problems are limited to weekends when the weather is fine
and sunny, the proposals of the group, which would be subject to the
agreement of the National
are as follows:-
Extend the car park to incorporate
the area immediately north of the car park, up to the gate leading
into Marsh Meadow (outlined on photograph
Resurface the car park and mark out
parking spaces. This
needs to be done using the appropriate materials and markers – the
group is not recommending tarmac. The way forward could be for the
Parish Council, the National Trust and local residents to find a way
of funding improvements, in return for extending the car park.
It is not recommended to proceed with the
Marsh Meadow car park as previously proposed.
2 - Note the area to the north (top) which is discussed above (click for larger
The Parade and the Station Car Park
capacity of the car parks is as follows:-
– west of the station:
– east of the station:
places (it appears that an additional 8 places could be made
places (potentially 121)
area is the commercial heart of Cookham Rise.
Ownership is complex. Network
Rail owns the car park west of the station, together with the area
east of the station and the road leading up to the station.
The remainder of the car park is owned by some of the
retailers, the principal one being the owner of Country Stores.
As the land is privately owned, the RBWM have no
responsibility for parking.
The Group has spoken to some of the retailers, but has not been able
to contact the owner of Country Stores.
summary of the issues is as follows:-
The capacity of the car park is
generally considered to be adequate.
Nevertheless, there are times when parking overflows onto the
The retailers do not have the
income or incentive to pay for the car park to be improved. They pay a sum per annum to the owners whose responsibility
it is to do this.
It is generally agreed that the
Parade car park is in need of resurfacing.
The surface has potholes, the pavements are cracked and the
car park spaces need better marking.
However, the appearance needs to be balanced against the
viability of the businesses.
Since the introduction of car
parking fees at Bourne End station, it is alleged that some rail
commuters are driving over to Cookham, where they can park all day
free of charge in the Parade car park.
As a result, retailers on the Parade have been monitoring
parking and have left polite notes on cars parked all day, pointing
out that parking is for customers and is limited to two hours.
The ultimate threat is clamping and a release fee of £125.
This appears to be being effective.
It has been rumoured (no more) that
Network Rail will introduce parking fees at Cookham. This would put pressure on the Parade parking, if commuters
then park in these spaces rather than opt to pay the fees. The situation is further complicated by uncertainties with
regards to the status of the car park west of the station.
This is reported to be protected by a Covenant allowing
residents facing the car park to use it for free.
At the time when the current restaurant was the Railway
Tavern, the car park sign included a reference to being also for the
use of Railway Tavern customers.
The Parade also provides access to
parking at the rear of the shops and flats.
There are recycling bins at the south-western corner.
proposals of the group are as follows:-
As with the Moor car park, a group
comprising the owners, the retailers the Parish Council and local
residents should be convened to draw up plans for upgrading the car
park (please note that upgrading the shops themselves is outside the
remit of this group), and devise ways of funding the work (section
106 funds could be one source).
This would probably need to involve Network Rail.
The drawings contained in the previous plan could provide a
starting point, but the current number of places should be
maintained or increased.
The status of the Network Rail car
park west of the station needs to be established, so that the legal
position is clear should Network Rail propose to introduce charges.
This will probably require the services of a lawyer, and is
beyond the remit of this group.
House is the day centre for the elderly in Cookham.
Cookham Voluntary Services provides transport for the elderly
and disabled to and from Elizabeth House and to local hospitals and
other services. It is important, therefore that the area in front of
Elizabeth House is kept clear.
The entrance is frequently used as a U-turn and occasionally
as parking for people using the cash machine outside the Nationwide
office. The manager of
Elizabeth House has raised this with RBWM in the past but has never
received a reply.
is recommended that the Parish Council raise this issue with the
is the area with the most intractable parking problem.
It contains the Medical Centre, two halls and several retail
outlets, including the chemist.
There are double yellow lines along the south side of Lower
Road from the junction with High Road to the chemist, and on the
north side from the railway to the Post Office and from the Medical
Centre car park to the junction with New Road.
There are double yellow lines at the entrances to Grange Road
and Coxborrow Close. As
these are public roads, responsibility for parking enforcement lies
with the RBWM (except for the Medical Centre, which is private
Medical Centre car park is for the use of patients and medical staff
and there is a formal agreement with the Pinder Hall Management
Committee that users of the Hall can also park there.
surrounding roads, Coxborrow Close and Grange Road, are used for
parking, if no spaces are available on Lower Road itself.
There is anecdotal evidence that the Medical Centre car park
is used by non-patients and that some car owners park all day on
Lower Road. On one
occasion, a car was left for two weeks, while the owners went on
holiday. This has
resulted in retailers leaving polite notices on cars, similar to
those by Parade shopkeepers, but without the threat of clamping.
is no way that parking capacity can be increased on Lower Road or in
the immediate vicinity. However,
the Catholic Church has indicated that it would be willing to allow
parking in its car park when it is not in use by the Church.
This is less than five minutes walk from the Medical Centre.
term day time parking needs to be discouraged.
The group, therefore, would like the following proposals to
Clarification regarding parking in
the Catholic Church car park needs to be discussed with members of
the Church. If
agreement can be reached, the availability of parking would need to
The Parish Council should consider
the introduction of day-time parking limits to discourage all day
parking, which would be enforced by the RBWM.
This would apply during office hours (say 8a.m. to 6p.m.) –
parking outside these hours would not be affected.
Discussions with residents and retailers would need to take
problems at Cookham Dean Junior School and Herries School are the
subject of a separate study. The
only other area of Cookham Dean with a parking problem appears to be
outside Cookham Dean Village Hall and the Women’s Institute Hall.
are blind bends on the road approaching Cookham Dean Village Hall,
and the road is narrow. Beyond
the Village Hall, the road is more open but is still too narrow to
allow two way traffic to pass if there are cars parked along the
road. When events are
held at the Village Hall, cars park along the road and on Cookham
there are no reported accidents involving injury, it would be
prudent to formalise parking and ensure that traffic negotiating the
blind bends approaching the Village Hall are not confronted with
parked cars on the left and oncoming traffic.
As this is primarily a road safety issue, it is covered in
the Road Safety report.