Following a campaign led by Hook Parish Council and supported by the OTMG and our district councillor Ken Crookes, a committee of Hart District Council finally listened to resident's views last month and agreed to get rid of the overnight charges, which were introduced last year in the Odiham Car Parks. These have proved a real problem for many residents and visitors and this is a step forward in dealing with our parking issues.
WESTERN CORRIDOR BLOG - 01 SEPTEMBER 2010
THE LAST RETAILER IN ODIHAM LOCKS ITS DOORS FOR GOOD
Sadly after several hundred years as a retailing centre and catchment area for the rural hinterland and with the demise of the RAF station in 2008 The Coop finally gave in to severe competition from Morrisons Supermarket in North Warnborough.
Back in 2002 Peter Fountain, the Town Manager, (who has since died of depression) had pointed out in an article in the now defunct Gazette that solutions had to be discussed at County level and not just for Odiham. Here is an extract and statement of fact from that article.
Basingstoke Gazette 10th August 2002
‘Over 100 vehicles now park in the centre of Odiham playing cat and mouse with the Traffic Wardens. These spaces should be filled with people spending money in our retail areas. Any parking order simply pushes vehicles from A to B; it does not offer any further parking spaces.
Already spaces are being occupied from 8 a.m. when dwellers leave for work and this is gradually spreading towards our boundaries, hence Palace Gate, King Street, Farnham Road and London Road. Why bother coming to Odiham when you cannot park? We are driving away genuine customers and not assisting the retailer in any way. Quite simply the offices, bank employees, dentists and staff and retailers have nowhere to go.
There is surely a very strong argument for appropriate parking in the right place, such as, the George Meadow, owned by an individual keen to leave a legacy to the community. What better piece of land than the bit adjoining The Health Centre and existing car park. Grasscrete and post and rail fencing and a five bar gate to enter through and a nominal annual charge for upkeep. Business and Retail vehicles must be away from the retail area.
Hart District Council are talking about closing our public conveniences, great! We are trying to attract people to Odiham and they won’t even be able to spend a penny!
So, what’s the answer? Perhaps the disgrace in King Street could be sold, it’s big enough for a small dwelling. These funds could contribute to state of the art conveniences in the existing car park. Bewley Homes might well build these at cost, and with monies collected from the extended car park the Bewley Loo could have an attendant, perhaps a local retired person who could pop in from time to time. The extra parking would also prove invaluable for events, funerals and weddings.
Something must be done now to protect our retailers and our heritage as a retail centre before it’s too late’
It would seem that the OTMG had a point but nobody was interested enough to take it up. Odiham is now a self-contained unit, plenty of housing and parking, and a Hotel, and not too far to Morrisons in North Warnborough for food and fuel and at night everyone comes home and locks their doors.
A sad story for what was once a proud and historic High Street and is now just a pedestrian area with no people.