CPZs come into force near club
Waltham Forest Council Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) came into force on 2 November. See www.leytonorient.com/news/article/parking-at-leyton-orient-2747255.aspx
This was done without consultation with the club, in fact the first that they knew about it was when LOFT contacted them after we were alerted by Orient fan Neil Irvine of a letter sent to local residents.
We have already received some complaints from fans about the parking at the FA Cup game vs Staines on 7 November, saying that the surrounding areas were packed for a game with a relatively low attendance.
This could of course affect attendances in the long term if fans' only way of getting to the ground is by car. The longer term worry is if all areas around the ground became subject to CPZs, rendering it almost impossible to park. This could severely affect attendances.
Having both of these roads as CPZs does not alleviate the traffic problem, it just pushes the traffic further out of the area for those that are able to walk that far. Those residents that would be affected by the knock on effect would no doubt request the council to make their areas CPZs as well.
There is a possibility that the long term effects could not only be felt by Leyton Orient but also local businesses that rely on match day custom as their main income.
LOFT conducted a survey in October for those that drive to matches. There were 275 responses and some of the replies were telling. The results can be seen at www.surveymonkey.net/results/SM-LDNSHZYC/
One answer that particularly stuck out was that over 55% travel more than 20 miles to home games.
There are alternatives and some possible answers to the CPZs. There has been talk before of coach services to run from Essex and Kent and elsewhere if needed. A park and ride scheme has also been mooted, but with the parking so bad near most tube stations, it would have to be some distance from Leyton.
A car park like the one in use several years ago at Spitalfields is another option, but that would inevitably add extra cost to supporters.
The best solution surely has to be that the council lifts the parking restrictions on Saturdays when there are home matches. This would certainly show some support for the club from the council, which at the moment seems somewhat lacking.
LOFT will continue to work with the club on this matter and if need be seek support from local businesses and others connected to Leyton Orient.
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