Concerns have been raised by the founder of a rapidly growing social media group over Sutton Council’s major parking plans following the late extension of its consultation deadline.

The authority is currently in stage two of moving forward with its new borough-wide parking strategy, asking residents about whether or not they support the designs for their streets.

But what is becoming a very contentious issue has seen the original deadline pushed back by two weeks and led to some calling for a halt to the scheme.

Sandra Ackland, founder of the Controlled Parking Residents Forum on Facebook, feels the initiative should be “at the very least paused, rethought or even stopped completely”.

The “very low” response rate of 5,324 residents from 43,000 letters sent out has been a highlighted issue, but also whether everyone in the affected areas has been notified.


Ms Ackland said: “As there are many, many people saying they did not receive stage one [letters] I’m in serious doubt 43,000 leaflets were actually delivered.

“How many other people didn’t receive it that I haven’t been able to connect with as they don’t have Facebook? Apparently, at all of the meetings it was a recurring theme that people were saying they didn’t receive stage one letters.

“The reason I started my page was originally to make sure everyone knew about the plans, however, the more I seem to find out about the whole scheme and the way things have been done I think at the very least it should be paused, rethought or even stopped completely.”

The consultation deadline was originally set for December 6 before the council pushed this back to the 30th, a Sunday.

While it’s admitted the strategy won’t “fix every parking problem in Sutton”, the borough having the fourth-highest car ownership level in London has prompted major concerns.

The scheme has received considerable backing, and there is support for both sides of the argument, but Ms Ackland still has some worries.

Among them is the number of potential displacements of vehicles, the introduction of yellow lines on certain roads, and also who it might affect – such as carers, nurses, midwives, and the elderly.

The Controlled Parking Residents Forum has grown to more than 2,200 members in over a week and a half since being launched on December 8.


Cllr Mauel Abellan

Cllr Manuel Abellan, the council's environment and neighbourhood committee chair, said the parking strategy was launched to “help us respond to residents' concerns about parking across the borough”.

He added that there have been two informal consultations, with a statutory one remaining, “detailed discussions” at local committees, drop-in sessions at libraries, public meetings, letters to each household affected, emails, and more.

Roughly 13 percent of 43,000 residents have had their say, and since the start of 2018 the council has received 8,000 responses.

Mr Abellan said: “It is too soon to confirm how much we have invested in the consultation to date, but given we know residents across the borough want us to do something to address the daily issues they face, we believe it will be money well spent. We are keen to get as many residents as possible to respond.”

The committee chair continued that a parking strategy will be implemented “which creates the best possible parking solutions for local residents and other road users.”