Alternative approach to London Road parking


I believe that most people consider that there is a lack of parking in the village. Especially within easy reach of the shops along London Road.

Consider the 'theoretical' idea of how much extra parking could be freed-up by a change from parallel parking to at-an-angle parking.

Terminology... the correct term for parking-at-an-angle seems to be 'echelon' (or possibly 'chevron') parking and the correct term for parking alongside the pavement is 'parallel parking'.

I visited the 'echelon parking' by the shops in Handforth... I have no idea as to any change in size of bays since those were provided, so I'm using the measurements from there... each bay is 8 feet (2.44 metres) wide... any disabled bays are of course much wider. Echelon parking bays in a pub car park that I measured were narrower at 7'6''. I can manage to park a Range Rover in the Handforth 8' bays without difficulty. There may be regulations on bay widths nowadays, I don't know.

I assume that on London Road, echelon parking would only be possible on one side of the road.

I used the length of London Road, between the yellow lines from the pastry shop (Clifton Street) to the yellow lines outside the post office (Stevens Street) as an example... this is 61 yards/183 feet (56.8 metres)... divide that by 8 feet bays = 22/23 cars. (My measurements may not be exact, but I'm only using them as an example, so please bear with me).

There were 10 cars parked along this example length of London Road when I first counted and 11 crammed in the next day... either way, to move from 10/11 cars to a possible 22/23 cars is a significant improvement...if this is extended further along London Road, perhaps we could solve the parking problem in one go!

Cars parked in echelon/chevron style will stick out further into the road; I think that 15 feet is probably the maximum. There are white lines at present, limiting how far out from the pavement a car can be parked, so we're not talking of an additional 15 feet.

There is a legal minimum amount of roadway needed for two-way traffic (I don't remember it but I do recall that it is a surprisingly narrow distance e.g. on the road bridge by Heyes Lane, there is enough roadway to allow a second pavement, on the side where there is currently no pavement and still have two-way traffic).

Your thoughts welcome.

This is a member post by Cllr Duncan Herald.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Kaz Baildon
Tuesday 31st July 2012 at 2:39 pm
I think it's an interesting proposition; however, doubling the available spaces with free parking would surely have a knock-on impact on the levels of income from the car parks (where it is usually not that difficult to get a space). If this approach was coupled with meters, then I would say it was a good idea as long as the needs of disabled drivers are taken into consideration.
David Hadfield
Tuesday 31st July 2012 at 4:22 pm
There is no way this will work.
If using this theory, parked cars would stick out and be a danger to the two way traffic.
There is a large difference between the width of the car and the length of the car, hence it won't work ............. Is this another wind-up ?
Malcolm Fowler
Tuesday 31st July 2012 at 4:41 pm
I agree, an interesting idea!

As well as the additional parking. It may well make it easier to park. Presently to parallel park vehicles have to drive past the space and then reverse in and if the space is tight perform another forward and back manoeuvre to get out. With echelon parking you drive straight into the parking space and then when leaving put your reversing lights on which are visible to traffic and wait for someone to let you out. The manoeuvring required is less and consequently eases traffic flow.

The only problem I can see is that this type of parking works well if all the traffic wanting to park approaches from the same direction. If the echelons are arranged so that traffic travelling through Alderley from Wilmslow can drive straight into a bay. It is more difficult for traffic travelling from Congleton to park in a bay.

Putting meters up is not a good idea though. This would have a detrimental effect on passing trade. Why not keep the free limited waiting that we have now for on street parking?
Jackie Burt
Tuesday 31st July 2012 at 4:57 pm
The parking bay in Handforth was made bigger to allow people to reverse safely on to the road you don't actualy reverse into oncoming traffic so it is nice and safe, I don't think the main road through Alderley is wide enough to allow safe reversing and it is also an illegal operation to reverse on a major road, however the side roads which are one way would be ideal if they were to have these sort of chevron bays. I think it should not be metered and just be for 1hr parking as there is plenty of other places to park if you want to stay longer and pay.
Stephen Holding
Tuesday 31st July 2012 at 5:15 pm
This was a good idea when it was first proposed around 50 years ago by the Alderley Edge Traders Association. The then council agreed to the road being widened,the portion of the pavement on both sides that they controlled being used for this. The portion of the pavement that was owned by the traders ( this had been the gardens of the shops when the village was planned ) would then have been the new reduced footpath, thus herringbone parking. The plan hinged upon the cooperation of all the traders, and with the exception of one in the centre of the village they all agreed, and you know the rest.
Duncan Herald
Tuesday 31st July 2012 at 5:29 pm
Thanks for the initial comments. Its just an idea. It might be worth noting that I recently saw a document from C.E. which informed that approx. £60,000 has been earmarked for the village centre; would that make this idea more feasible?
Chevron parking might slow down the speed of traffic through the village?
David... no its not a wind up... just an idea; could we take a 'suck-it-and-see' approach?
Malcolm... good point... perhaps if the chevron parking were on alternative sides, with the angle different on each side?
Jackie... perchance the 'Highways people' would tell us whether London Rd., could be wide enough?
Stephen... nothing new under the sun eh? Is the time more 'ripe' now?
Mark Adrian
Tuesday 31st July 2012 at 9:29 pm
The pavements are so wide on both sides of the street, that is would be easy to reduce the width to provide even more available space, as well as a small reduction in width of the road.
Duncan Herald
Tuesday 31st July 2012 at 9:52 pm
Hi Mark... some of the trees might prevent a uniform pavement widening? I suppose any knocked down could be replaced with new saplings? (Oops, that remark's gonna get me lambasted!).
Marc Asquith
Wednesday 1st August 2012 at 10:09 am
Let's not forget the effect on the character of the village - the wide pavements and parallel parking gives a Boulevard feeling to London Road - I would not want to lose this.

On the other hand - most of the parking restrictions were put in place when London Road was the A34 - maybe we should be having a general look around to see if any can be removed ?
Mark Russell
Wednesday 1st August 2012 at 3:26 pm
Nice to see some radical thinking here. I personal think its a good idea, although i think it would only be practical on one side of the road in order to keep the flow of traffic through the village on the road. (or maybe just parking on both sides on the wider sections??) If we have to lose some of the pavement, then so be it. We all complain about the parking situation, and somewhere along the line something will have to give. So if losing a couple of feet of pavement is all we lose, i think its not that bad really is it??
Elaine Napier
Thursday 2nd August 2012 at 1:02 pm
Wasn't there just a lot of comment about the problems of pavement narrowing as a result of pavement seating provisions by local cafes and restaurants. I think the issue was about the problem of over-narrow pavements making it unsafe for the visually-impaired? That sounds like a bit of a conflict with widening the road to accommodate angled parking.

Perhaps some reorganisation of the car park by the The Co-operative and Waitrose Supermarkets might provide some additional spaces? It's a nightmare of random parking and careless reversing at the moment.

Also, I am aware from friends who live in terraced cottage type properties within the village that, if they have no possibility of creating dedicated parking at their own properties, they are forced to park on the street. There is no residents' parking scheme in operation and, hence, they are forced to keep moving their cars or suffer large numbers of parking fines.

I don't have an answer to these problems but welcome the suggestions made - perhaps something fabulous will emerge and it will be possible to tackle the problems.

Keep thinking everyone!
Heather Wienholt
Monday 6th August 2012 at 1:28 pm
Thank you Duncan for your work on this issue, it is reassuring to see the council are aware of the customer parking difficulties in Alderley Edge. I think it is fantastic that you have managed to come up with a constructive solution to the parking problems.

The parking situation is getting ever more depressing for us shopkeepers as more yellow lines are proposed, resident parking is rolled out, car parks are closing and traffic wardens acting like they are the sheriff of Nottinghams men.

It is clear that Alderley Edge will never again provide people with their basic shopping needs, however there is still plenty to experience on our high street and the shops do need customer parking, businesses pay a lot in rates for this, and we expect to receive a service back for this money. I would hate to think our village has become a stinking cheese!
Duncan Herald
Friday 14th September 2012 at 11:38 am
Some figures to perhaps clarify. Sorry to have been so long.
I am told by 'Highways' that the minimum width for a carriageway such as London Rd. is 3 metres... thus 6 metres for the two-way traffic.
The road is at present 8.60 metres wide, with an allowance of 2.10 metres for the present one-side-only parallel parking, thus 6.50 metres for driving.
For chevron parking that means (2.10 + 0.60) 2.70 metres for cars to stick out without decreasing the driving-upon width, below the minimum. How far out does a car stick, when parked at an angle/chevron style? About 3 or 3 + metres? If so, not much pavement would have to be taken up?
By the way, measuring London Road in daylight is not a life-enhancing experience!
Any thoughts?