Putting the heart in communities

Parking Statement

Parking update – January 2019

We are delighted that from next week our pedestrian access gate will be open when we are. This is situated to the left of the car-park gates. As this gate will now be open, please could we ask that people stick to the designated paths and only park in the car-park if they are using the facilities.

Please feel free to pop in and see us if you have any questions or concerns.

Parking update – December 2018

We wanted to be able to update the public and friends/users of Repton Connect on the situation with offering pedestrian access through the site.

Unfortunately, as it currently stands, this remains something we are not able to offer – at least, not safely. Our pedestrian access into the site from Ordinance Way is currently not accessible due to the pathway leading straight into the fence that borders the edge of the consortium’s current build along Repton Avenue. Therefore, the only access to pedestrians is to come through the vehicular gate. As the level of traffic increases at the centre owing to an ever-growing diary of centre bookings, the risk of an accident is only going to grow.

We have been speaking with the consortium and Ashford Borough Council in an attempt to get this fence moved just over one metre, allowing access to the pavement. So far, despite our best efforts, this had not proved successful. However, we were notified at the end of last week that this is now on the consortium’s works plan and should be moved by mid-January. This is not able to happen any sooner.

Thank you for your support and if you have any queries then do pop in and ask.

Car parking at Repton Connect

We have noticed a number of comments on social media asking if the Repton Connect car park could be opened and used by people doing the school-run to Repton Manor Primary School next door. We understand the request and can also see how some people’s parking, combined with the construction work happening along Repton Avenue, can leave the road feeling potentially unsafe for pedestrians.

Car parking is an issue we have looked into at great length and have spent many hours running different possible outcomes over many months and the simple answer is that we are not able to open the car park for this purpose.

There are a number of reasons:

The car park is for the use of hall-hirers.

This is the core reason. If we were to make the car park available to school-run traffic, then when there’s a booking for the centre at that time, the hall-hirers would have nowhere to park. Part of their booking is that they have use of the car park. Sometimes the car park is empty, but other times it’s not. New bookings are coming in daily at the moment.

Why can’t the car park be used on the days when there aren’t bookings?

That is a good question. Unfortunately, the access road to the centre has currently had to be re-routed along Intelligence Walk/Ordinance Way as we, along with the council, did not feel it would be safe for cars and pedestrians to try to navigate the proper access road with the developers’ compound on one side and building happening the other. This means that people have no way of seeing whether the car park is open or not until they get around the final bend to the car park entrance. On the days the centre is booked out at that time, the only course of action left is to do a 3-point turn. 30+ cars doing this would cause a lot of difficulty and the hall-hirers would not be able to get through to use the car park. Furthermore, vehicles manoeuvring and reversing back out of Ordinance Way would cause unnecessary danger.

Why can’t the gate be left open on days when there are no bookings?

Aside from the issue above (which we can’t see a way around) there is also the question of liability. Repton Community Trust is entirely responsible for that land and we have a duty of care to keep people safe on there. If people are coming on to the land who are not hall-hirers and an accident were to happen, we would find ourselves with some liability regarding a situation that is beyond our control. Further-more the site is not always manned at school-run times.

Couldn’t we employ someone to manage the car park (put out signs, manage traffic flow etc)?

We simply don’t have the resources to do that as it would literally need manning. Besides, it still doesn’t get around the issue of hall-hirers potentially being unable to use the car park. We all have experienced the frustration of paying to use a venue and then when you get there finding that people have used up a lot of the parking.

As a trust, we are committed to this local community and want to empower people to connect, build community and lead a more fulfilled life. The parking problem existed before Repton Connect was built and is a much wider issue than needing a few more parking spaces. We are very sorry we can’t help with this – it’s beyond our control as far as we can see at the moment.

We have confirmed with Waitrose that it can be used for parking and have also been in touch with the consortium who are building along Repton Avenue. We have taken counsel from Ashford Borough Council too.

If you have comments or concerns about the safety along Repton Avenue, then please contact Danny Swannell on Daniel.Swannell@arcadis.com and he will be able to deal with your queries. He is the project manager for the Repton Park Consortium.

We don’t like doing this stuff by digital media and would far rather have the opportunity to explain this face to face. So, on Monday 29th October, between 2:30 and 3:30 pm and again between 6:00 and 7:00 pm, there will be some trustees available at Repton Connect for you to drop by if you would like to. We’d love to see you.

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