Too Many Cars!

No more playing in the street

Problems for early car owners

Ivy Leigh remembers early parking problems

The LCC planners made a good job of creating a "new town" in what had been open, agricultural land.  However, one small and understandable blunder led to one of the major problems on the estate today - the impact of too many cars. Solid parking makes the roads difficult to negotiate and ruins the "country" aspect of the place which was one of its major charms.

Photo:Mr. Thomas in the 1950s

Mr. Thomas in the 1950s

Keith Thomas

In the 1930s cars were few and far between and were definite luxury items.  No one could foretell how the whole population would become so dependent on them.  St. Helier housing provided no garages, and due to the houses' compact size, little opportunity to add these later.  The roads were, in general, not very wide as there was no need to waste space in that way.

The roads were playgrounds

In common with most of suburbia, children considered the roads to be their playground.

The street was ours.  If an odd car did come through, it was always booed. (Brian Doubtfire)

Jeannette Tidy remembers how parking problems caused tempers to rise in the 1960s

The estate looked really nice because everybody had a front hedge all the way along and the Council came two or three times a year and they cut it all so, even if people didn't look after their gardens, it always looked fairly neat. After a while they stopped that and you did your own and then people started concreting the fronts over so that they could park the cars, because obviously with very narrow roads car parking became a bit of a problem. In fact, really when I first moved in, it was always a factor - the problems with cars.  We hadn't been there a couple of weeks and a chap down the road came and knocked on the door and said "Oh, you're parked in my parking space". Because we'd only just moved in, you want to make a good impression and everything, so we moved the car and that was alright. But there were quite a lot of arguments about car parking as new people started moving in with more cars. A car dealer moved in, couple of doors away, so he had his cars all over the place and there were quite a few disputes.

This page was added by Cheryl Bailey on 18/06/2010.

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