Knockholt passengers want their parking back!

100_2406Rail passengers at Knockholt have been complaining that some of the station car park is being occupied by lorries for the skip depot. Lorries speeding along the narrow station road are also a danger to passengers. We’ve been discussing this with Southeastern.

The skip depot is on land leased from Network Rail. It seems that over the years the depot users have encroached beyond the gates of the depot itself onto the car park. Southeastern – who are losing money from potential car parking charges – tell us that they have repeatedly raised this with Network Rail and the company itself, and while the situation sometimes improves for a while, gradually the lorries and the skips return.

100_2408Following our intervention, Southeastern have responded positively. They have agreed to raise this again with Network Rail, and they have also promised to increase parking enforcement and issue penalty notices for lorries who have not paid the necessary charge (parking at Knockholt was free until recently, but now it isn’t). The lorries look as though they are occupying more than one space, so we hope that multiple penalties are payable on each of them! Some of the parking space is occupied by a large blue skip, so that should give a nice daily income in fine to Southeastern too.

It’s astonishing that Network Rail have not put stringent conditions into the lease about use of and traffic through the car park – or have not been enforcing them. Since the site is actually close to London Road it is also not clear why it could not have its own separate entrance directly onto the main road.

Knockholt Station itself is in the London Borough of Bromley (that’s why it has Oyster and why so many people park at the station to take advantage of the lower London Zonal fares), and the skip depot also seems to be in Bromley. The main road (London Road) is however in Sevenoaks District. So it’s not clear which local authority would have had to give planning consent and whether this is being complied with.

If you have been affected by the skip lorries at Knockholt, please let us know.


Knockholt passengers want their parking back! — 11 Comments

  1. I had a look at this a while back. There was a long-running planning dispute over the use of the land which used to be the sidings at Knockholt, essentially to do with what activities were allowed in various zones in the relevant area. Eventually (after appeal) the leaseholders won against Bromley who indeed are the relevant plannng authority. The final (I believe) decision from 2013 is on the Bromley planning website, though it takes a bit of digging around. Crucially, from what I can see, no lorry movements are allowed before 9am which is clearly being contravened right now. I have raised this with Bromley previously but they didnt bother with a reply.

  2. There have been long running planning issues on the old Knockholt sidings with numerous applications by the leaseholder which have historically been knocked back by Bromley (the relevant authority). However, the leaseholder won an appeal in 2013 to extend operations somewhat – the decision is on Bromley’s planning portal. It was all to do with the use of various zones in the site but I suspect it has led to the increase in traffic.

    However, it is almost certain (in my view) that the site is running in contravention of the appeal decision, if that is indeed the final word on the matter, as that appeal decision stipulated (as well as maximum vehicle movements) a restriction on ANY lorry movements before 9am weekdays. I have previously tried to ask Bromley’s planning dept about this but got no reply.

    Yes I use this station – it does feel dangerous, the road surface is suffering badly and lorries have been parking near the bus stop opposite causing damage to the pavement there (Sevenoaks authority)

  3. Walking down to the station at 7am when all the lorries are leaving is a dangerous occupation. They mount the pavement and I have seen pieces of brick falling off the lorries on more than one occasion.

  4. I just recently wrote to Southeastern about this as the potholes in the road now are just ridiculously big and not to mention the blue skip was literally up against the derelict garage on the side. I told the driver of the lorry once that he is not supposed to park it there and must move it. He did, but on this day he wasnt in the lorry – it was parked next to the skip blocking ALL parking on the left hand side.

    Its unbelievable that this not sorted out. The station needs a car park! I dont have time to park half a mile down the road in the mornings and finding a parking quickly is imperative. I bet if they built a car parking lot there, they’d make a fortune!

    What can we do to up the campaign as this sounds like its been going on for too long and no one seems to be doing much about it!

    There must be a ‘top person’ at Network Rail that can answer why this is happening – its wholly unfair for commuters who are already ripped off with train fares and late trains!

  5. And yet it still goes on! The road into the station car park is a disgrace, full of potholes and the lower section of the car park is taken over completely on a daily basis by lorries and skips between 07:00 and 08:30. Is this not a breach of the lease? Rail users are being charged to use this joke of a facility – sort it out!

  6. @David We agree. Unfortunately this is the responsibility of Network Rail and they have declined to do anything about it. It’s also just within Bromley (the main road is part of Sevenoaks, but the land between the road and the station is part of London) and Bromley Council have reportedly refused to take any enforcement action either.

  7. @Shirlee We agree. Perhaps Network Rail have not appreciated that they would make more money using the land for commuter car parking than for low-value waste transfer. With further housing growth due in the area (eg Fort Halstead) more car parking will be essential.

  8. Today I was so annoyed – EMR Recycling blue skip was parked right across “our” parking spaces and I had spoken with the Skip guys a few months back who told me they leased the land up to half way on that road side of the parking lot – so I had been “okay” with them when they parked the skip so that at least 5 or 6 cars could park on that side but today they are right up against the dilapidated garage and splayed across All parking!!!!! I parked where they usually should have their “boundary”! Urghhhh it’s terribly frustrating! One can’t buy weekly’s to save money in case you get there and there’s no parking! I specifically need to park close to the train as I have no leeway time wise – literally park and run for train most times.
    So I am now fed up! Please advise what the latest is – is there a contact name at Network rail that is dealing with this???

  9. 1. I regularly use Knockholt Station and it is they way my two daughters go to and return from school.
    Firstly – the potholes are SO bad that it is dangerous for paedestrians, passengers in my car as well as my car – will anything be done about them soon?

    2. The skip lorries are causing a huge obstruction. Their lorries drive extremely quickly at the station and must be dangerous for users of the station, I am surprised there have not been any accidents. At around 4pm each day the lorries start parking up – they use the very limited parking space at the station and areas for cars to wait.They also park on the main road, causing danger there, obstructing the view when exiting the station approach. Cars move fast along this road too. When parked up the drivers leave their vehicles and congregate at the top of the road – I can only describe their behaviour as leering, threatening and intimidating. As I say, I have two teenage daughters and they are extremely scared to walk past them.

    I would be grateful to hear your views and possible action you could take.

  10. October 2018
    It is still beyond me how nothing has been sorted out – this post I’ve read is from 2016.
    Why do the lorries and skips still tell contractors that it’s fine to park on the parking bays! It irks me every day that parking lots for stations should be for passengers commuting and NOT skips and lorries. It’s incredibly unfair and disgusting this has not been sorted out!
    If Network Rail halve a lease with these skip people surely they can come and paint big white or red lines on the ground showing exactly where they can park their skips and lorries! Every day they use more space! Today there was only space for 2 cars to park on the road side of the car park because two big skips have taken up further than I believed to be what they had said is their area to use! This needs to be put right as the London’s Road parking is now becoming very congested too and soon there will be nowhere to park! This is not right in a world where we all have to use trains to get to work and cars to drive to the station because there’s no good public transport near our homes!

  11. Just spoke to a South Eastern facilities guy who told me that this parking issue is actually being sorted out now and that it’s all going through the courts at the moment. That does give me hope!

    Today a contractor parked across three parking bays!!!! He has done it before and I told him he could just park straight and give 3 other cars a parking space and he told me that then guys at the skip told him do park like that – I said so you don’t have to – you can just park normally! And he did but there he is again today parking his long car across the parking bays which ARE supposed to be “ours”!!!! Grrrrrrr

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