Public Transport

Reduction in trains from Chigwell and Grange Hill (summer 2016)
TFL has reduced the number of trains towards London via Woodford and introduced a change at Hainault on the opposite direction of the loop.

Between the hours:
6am to 7am the service has reduced by 1 train (5 to 4) and 1 through train (no change at Woodford) has been removed (2 to 1).
7am to 8am reduced by 2 trains (6 to 4) and 2 through trains removed (3 to 1).
8am to 9am reduced by 1train (5 to 4) and 1 through train removed (2 to 1).

Between the hours 8.55 and 10.35, 6 out of the 7 trains will now require a change at Hainault (previously these were through trains)
We find this amendment to the timetable unaceptable and unjustified as the cuts have occurred in the prime time when usage is at its maximum and more changes at Woodford and Hainault would also cause overcrowding on trains on the main line (Epping – London & Hainault to London).
CRA will be following up on this issue with TFL and will report on the outcome.
Note: The result is that Parish Councillors will be following up with TFL.

Traffic, Highways & Parking


Highways and parking: Concerns were voiced about the lack of safety on Vicarage Lane, both because of the continuing poor state of its surface and markings, and also because of the speeding along it and Courtland Drive by many drivers. It was suggested that this should be put forward as an improvement scheme to the Local Highways Panel.
There have been four suggested schemes for a one way system around Chigwell Green, but only one of them is affordable! Cllr Knapman has nominated Courtland Drive for resurfacing, and also the pavements of Smeaton Road which are in a particularly poor condition. He said the local repair budget had been drastically cut. A resident said that Courtland Drive was suffering badly by commuter parking which was destroying the verges on both sides, and that the vegetation was becoming completely overgrown. Cllr Knapman said that he’d look to replace signs about keeping off the verges which had disappeared from both this road and Chigwell Rise.

It was also reported that enforcement for vehicles blocking pavements is needed in Dickens Rise, as well as resurfacing there, and also along the full length of Brook Mews.

 Traffic Cllr Knapman said that the Local Highways Panel were also looking to improve traffic safety locally and considering proposals for a pedestrian crossing on the High Road by Brook Parade shops. The Panel may also look at a one way traffic system around the village Green (using Hainault Road and Station Road) to improve flow and safety. It was also noted that a great deal of parking in Brook Parade and Brook Mews is illegal and it regularly blocks entrances and causes obstructions. The police needed to be involved; the current lack of enforcement was not acceptable. Residents expressed concerns about the school being built in Luxborough Lane for autistic children, both regarding the number of houses to be built and about the difficulty of widening the Lane sufficiently at the High Road end to provide two way traffic and a pavement, particularly with the dangerous parking and blocking of sight lines around the junction at school times.

Parking problems Frustration was expressed at the increasing congestion on the Chigwell Park estate where commuters persistently blocked drives and pavements. The estate was only 8th priority in the District (on their criteria) for a local parking scheme, and therefore Cllr John Knapman was asking the local Highways Panel to allow the Parish Council to fund a local parking zone, but was still persistently being blocked by obstacles put forward by Essex Highways. Residents of Chigwell Park have sent in a petition requesting a Controlled Parking Zone: action is required to deal with the deteriorating and increasingly chaotic situation there.

The Local Highways Panel have now offered to pay for yellow lines to be marked on the estate which would have a one hour no parking restriction during the day. However, Essex Highways along with North Essex Parking Partnership, who supposedly enforce parking control in this area, were now saying that they had an additional issue with getting wardens from Harlow to Epping Forest to inspect.

It seems increasingly obvious that some responsibility for organising parking restrictions needs to be given to the local council and the local highways panel otherwise the position in Chigwell will only get worse. Essex Highways and the NEPP have been offered a decisive way forward to improve the situation by the latest proposal, crucially the offer to fund a Controlled Parking Zone: it needs to be accepted and implemented without further delay.
Several residents made the point that there were other estates like the Dickens where commuter parking was causing similar daily problems, and that a no parking hour in the middle of the day would be needed for them too. However, the problems that various systems of parking permits have caused in Buckhurst Hill were pointed out, including cost to residents. It was suggested that having a different parking hour restriction on each side of the road would help residents to find parking for their visitors.
Cllr Knapman said that if a local bus service becomes reality this should help reduce the amount of short car trips to the station.

Comment was made that the verges on Meadow Way have been destroyed near High Road by commuter parking. Cllr Knapman said that he had requested yellow lines on the north side of Courtland. A resident also complained about the potholes not yet attended in the area. Attention was also drawn to the problems of parking on Vicarage Lane by parents for the school, and that the closing of the gates daily at the Beis Shamai was adding to this dangerous situation.

It was suggested that the situation at Debden Station should be looked at as a possible area for increased parking on LT land alongside. Cllr Alvin said that councillors would take this into consideration; however, there are plans by LT to develop the site for residential, therefore reducing the potential for commuter parking.
Cllr Knapman commented that there was not enough accountability on highway maintenance and that the Parish was looking to source services more locally to improve white lining, filling potholes etc.


Why is there no parking enforcement around Chigwell Station?
For months local residents in Chigwell have been complaining about the way in which vehicle owners abuse and ignore the parking restrictions on both High Road opposite Chigwell Station and on nearby Brook Parade. There are restriction signs and road markings limiting the time that vehicles can stay on both these stretches of road, but vehicles are regularly parked and left on both throughout the day without having a penalty notice issued.

The authority in charge of highways is Essex County Council, who about 5 years ago contracted the responsibility for parking enforcement to a body called North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) which is based in Colchester.

Their performance In Chigwell has been completely ineffectual, and resulted in vehicle owners showing a complete disregard for the existing parking regulations, with seemingly no fear of the regulations actually being enforced. The result has been steadily increasing parking problems and traffic congestion yet virtually no tickets are issued as there are no traffic wardens present.
NEPP is supposed to be a “partnership” with Epping Forest District Council to control parking and promote safety on our roads. However, its performance in Chigwell is so disastrous that EFDC needs to take action. The illegal parking is making it more dangerous for pedestrians and other road users. The 2 disabled bays signage and marking are badly faded resulting in parking by non-disabled drivers. Illegal parking is damaging the business of the shops on Brook Parade, as more potential customers give up and go elsewhere. There are also more cars parking in High Road alongside Brook Parade blocking the bus stop and narrowing the main “A” road.

 The CRA has for a considerable time been asking EFDC, Essex Highways and NEPP to enforce the parking regulations on these roads to tackle the problems. We have been disappointed by the contrast of the lack of any response in Chigwell to the number of traffic wardens regularly patrolling Loughton and Buckhurst Hill.
Through a Freedom of information request to NEPP we have been informed that from October 2012 to November 2014 there were 124 penalty charge notices issued on High Road Chigwell and Brook Parade. In the same period there were 2884 penalty charges issued on 2 roads near Buckhurst Hill Station (Queen’s Road and Princes Road).

This disparity in enforcement between two similar size shopping roads so close together and both administered by NEPP is stark and unacceptable. We wrote to NEPP to complain and they replied that “the location you specify (Chigwell) is patrolled on a regular basis, and if vehicles are parked in contravention a penalty notice charge will be issued”. This is simply not true. Ms Belgrove of NEPP also wrote in December 2014 that “I’ve asked enforcement teams to pay particular attention to this area in the coming weeks”. Residents and shopkeepers on Brook Parade since then have still not seen any traffic wardens, despite the continuing daily illegal parking.

As a result of NEPP’s inefficiency we believe that EFDC now has an urgent responsibility to get for Chigwell a parking enforcement provider who supplies the standard of service required for which we residents of the District pay our council taxes.
Eddie Bow, Chairman CRA



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