Hackney Council wants to change the agreed parking regime for the new sports pavilion on north Hackney Marsh, increasing parking spaces by 25%.
Car parking at north marsh involves more disruption to marsh users than any other parking location. Bringing motor vehicles over Cow Bridge onto north marsh:
creates a traffic hazard to children and pets: the car park access route crosses the only footpath
pollutes the air with fuel particles and raised dust
creates noise pollution in a peaceful space
impacts on the marsh's nature conservation area
obstructs other users at weekends, the busiest time
increases traffic in local residential streets
Management of parking on the marshes is a disgrace. From 2011 to October 2015, number limits in car parks were ignored by drivers and the council. If the council had managed parking properly, it wouldn't be asking to increase spaces now.
LBH policy is to charge for off-street parking, yet it refuses to apply this to green spaces. But charging, reducing spaces and enforcing limits, are the only measures likely to persuade users to change their habits.
Left to themselves, LBH and their facilities manager GLL would have continued to pay no more than lip service to sustainable travel, and if they get this through, we can say goodbye to their having to take it seriously in future. What the marshes need is:
progressive reduction in parking space
charges designed to encourage change
council support for sports clubs in moving to more sustainable travel such as minibuses.