St John’s Park: gothic masterpiece or overflow car-park?

Pat, David and I (the three Labour candidates for Blackheath Westcombe ward) visited St John’s Park last Saturday to see the parking problems that residents have been reporting to us.

The road is one of my favourites in Blackheath, going from the motorway to the Heath with some very fine Victorian buildings (mostly converted into flats) – some red brick and other larger ones in yellow brick. It has an intriguing feature in that it goes round St John The Evangelist church, which is a glorious traffic island of Ragstone gothic at the junction with Stratheden Road.

Less romantically, the road also functions as an overflow car park for the shops and offices in the Royal Standard area, and Blackheath and Westcombe Park railway stations, as parking on St John’s Park is uncontrolled.

The council, responding to residents’ concerns, has just surveyed people living and working here and on Old Dover Road about possible changes to the rules to allow people to park here short-term to visit the shops, but discourage all-day parking by commuters. It will be a careful balancing act to ensure there are spaces available for residents and visitors, without making it impossible for shoppers to park short-term, but I hope the council gets it right.

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