Rail 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.
Following 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.