Any Thoughts On Sweyne Park?

Chris Black had a call tonight from a resident who is distinctly unimpressed with the overall maintenance of Sweyne Park, in terms of managing the vegetation and dealing with litter.

Any thoughts from anyone else on this?

  • Actually, I took my kids over to the playground a lot in the summer, and there was always empty drink bottles and general litter around the basket-ball hoop area behind the playground. It does make you worried about letting your kids play in this area, in case of broken glass. It also doesn’t look nice.

    You also get some litter around the pond area, where people often seem to be fishing.

    Generally though, the park seems to be fairly well maintained as far as I can see, the playground especially being generally kept free of litter. I don’t like the graffiti over the play equipment, and sometimes I have to stop my kids using the slides if there is “suspicious substances” on them (in the past I’ve had to have a go at teenagers spitting ice-lollies onto the slides).

    My biggest gripe with the park is the fact that it’s main entrance for the playground is on a bend in Downhall Park Way, and that there is not a decent footpath from this entrance on the side of the park, forcing kids to have to cross the road. Other than that it’s a great asset, and I love having it just round the corner.

    On the subject of litter, I noticed a few crisp packets drifting around in Downhall Park Way when I walked to my daughter’s school yesterday. Would it be a good idea to have litter bins in the streets surrounding schools? Would they get used? Would they get emptied? I don’t know if litter is a huge problem, but it just struck me that there are no litter bins on the side streets that are used by hundreds of kids every day.

  • To add that I see RDC guys over the park most days doing work, this week they are cutting the hedges alongside the Bridal Way. I think they do a good job generally in keeping the place as a whole clean and yes I do use the park so I know what goes on.

  • …… and I would feel a lot safer getting into the park if lazy local residents – who have ample driveway space or garaging – did not park their cars close to the bend totally obscuring oncoming traffic from both drivers and pedestrians!!

    Mind you, even trying to get out of Salisbury Close is dangerous with a white van constantly parked and obstructing the view of the road and a large silver van parked illegally close to the junction meaning you have to walk/drive out into the road totally blind.

  • I think Sweyne Park is generally a very nice park, one of the few that Rayleigh actually has that caters for all childrens ages, although I think that they could have a few toys like they have at hockley woods.

    The only problem I can see is that the slides do get a bit messy but sometimes this cannot be helped espcially if the ground is so muddy.

    Even the teenagers over the park seem to be generally well behaved although on occassion I have had to ask them to get off the young childrens swings or round about.

    I even enjoy a nice walk round the pond and people the I bump into are very nice and friendly I’m glad the council didn’t build on this land when all the other houses were built.

  • I agree with Dee that the Sweyne Park is generally very nice and I hope it is protected from the developers perpetually.
    I occasionally take my grand child to the park and have a couple of observations to make which are the responsibility of Rochford DC.
    Firstly, the smaller slide on the JUNIOR section holds a deep puddle of water at the bottom. This is because the run-off section rises like a ski slope and traps the water. I do not think this is the result of vandals, rather the way it has been poorly installed. The problem has existed for some months now.
    The second point is that there is a narrow gap running around the complete edge of the red matting at the INFANT lorry/train site. This may seem only minor but the gap is wide enough for a small child’s foot to drop into an it may cause a trip or a sprained ankle

  • Cant we get something done about the parking on that bend?

    It’s very dangerous, at least it should be yellow lines, or perhaps a zebra crossing. Given the high numbers of children crossing at that point, i think this should be a high priority before someone gets hurt or worse.

    Parking along that section of downhall park way upto the main road seems to have gotten worse since the new houses went up.

    Any comments from Council people?

  • Buzz, that part of Downhall Park Way is the no 1 highways issue for me at the moment, in terms of complaints received.

    Yes, you are certainly right that parking has increased since the new houses went up.

    Hopefully we will have some concrete proposals fairly soon which we can consult you about.

  • I am guessing that there may be two issues here – (1) there may be insufficient parking spaces for those households that have 2/3 cars and (2) people are just too lazy to put the car in a garage or parking space provided at the rear of the properties.

    Can the local police have a word with the culprits to make them aware of the problems they are causing ? the alternative might a nice bright 24/7 flashing yellow beacon outside their bedroom window…very nice…

  • One further question about park access, is there anyway of seperating the southern access point of the bridle path from the Sweyne School’s property? This makes a useful route by foot or bike onto the A129 London Road, but obviously it is only open when the school opens the gate, and I am not sure of it’s status as a right of way due to the fact that you have to cross the school’s property to get from the park to the public roads.

    Now we have access to Rawreth Lane at the north of the park via the sports centre area, is this worth considering for the south entrance?

  • Rayleigh Resident – I think it’s laziness on the part of these inconsiderate parkers.

    I also understand that one of the offending vehicles is owned by a Policeman, no less, who lives three roads away from where he parks his van!!!! Work that one out?

    Apparently, when questioned by a local resident as to his need to park so far from his house he stated that he could legally park anywhere he liked on a public highway. The resident then pointed out to him that, yes he could, but that he had actually parked totally illegally within 9 metres of a junction and causing a major visual obstruction!!!

    Also the two households that own the majority of the cars parked on the bend do, as it can clearly be seen, have ample car parking for many cars.

  • Thanks Chris, Good to know you guys are on the case.

    I’d be much happier with my children going to the park knowing there was a safe place to cross.

    I cant see how anyone thought that is was a good idea to allow houses to be built right right upto the pavement with no easy off streep parking, doesnt this kind of thing get identified and discussed by Mr Scrutton & our wonderful planning dept.

    & seconded, please no speed humps :o)

  • This is one issue that can’t be blamed on out of town yobbos, people that speed etc etc, the power to resolve this lies fairly & squarely with the residents of the DPW estate. A bit of consideration from the “offenders” would solve it overnight but somehow I can’t see it happening.

    Cor blimey, it’s a little bit of Romford right ‘ere in Rayleigh innit…makin it just like ‘ome…

  • I can’t see a crossing put in close to a bend in the road, I have never had a problem crossing the road outside the park, as there aren’t that many cars travelling along DPW

  • I have spent many pleasant hours walking around Sweyne Park, in all seasons. It is a wonderful facility for this part of Rayleigh, & is, on the whole, very well maintained. Most of the litter seems to accumulate behind Sweyne school, but this has recently improved. There seems to be an adequate supply of “doggy” bins, but no litter bins? An excuse for people to drop wrappers, bags etc on the ground! Horse droppings can be more of a problem than “doggy-doo’s”. How about the Council doing a bit of recycling for public flower beds etc?
    The graffiti is minimal compared to the Play Areas in Hartford Close! Older children/youths can be a nuisance, but this is true of any facility of this kind. How about emplying a peripatetic “Play space Warden”? Problems would then, hopefully, be picked up at an earlier stage.
    My main concern regarding Sweyne Park is the vandalism & litter around the lake. The lifebuoys are often missing from their holders, branches broken off trees, & litter in the water being a hazard for any wildlife. The latter is a particular worry in the Spring when the ducklings are hatching.
    As I said at the begginning, on the whole a lovely facility for all ages!

  • There are two solutions to this problem. The first is to get double yellow lines placed outside the park (as this would require the council to actually do something, I don’t think this to be a viable option) or the second is for parents to teach their children that they must not cross the road from behind a parked car. If a child crosses from a visible part of the pavement, there should be no accidents, or if a parent is worried about their childs safety, perhaps they should walk their child to and from the park?

  • Both are almost impossible to do Corey – given that the bend is totally obscured, on any given day, by selfishly parked cars coupled with speeding drivers – we are in a no win situation. There are very few “visible parts of the pavement at all”.

    Lines would be the best answer but unlikely to happen – I agree.

  • I go back to my earlier point re Parking:

    This is one issue that can’t be blamed on out of town yobbos, people that speed etc etc, the power to resolve this lies fairly & squarely with the residents of the DPW estate.

    I am at a total loss as to why the Police cannot speak to the families involved ( most of whom live on or just before the bend towards Rawreth Lane ) and get them to move their cars & vans as they are causing problems – is it me ? do these laws exist ? does anybody know ?

  • Perhaps we had better get a copy of that updated Highway Code? I know there used to be laws regarding not parking within 9 metres of a junction, causing an obstruction and parking on a bend or opposite a junction.

    Then – we have to assume that these people have actually ever seen a Highway Code!!!!

  • The highway code is available on-line. I think I’ve got a link somewhere, but you can probably find it with a bit of Googling.

    The highway code is quite clear with respect to parking at junctions and bends, so I’m not sure if there is actually a need for yellow lines for enforcement to take place.

    However, following my earlier comment about the police being parked in DPW one night last week, and not being bothered about the parking (were they there because of the accident that was reported?), I started to wonder if the police still see parking enforcement as part of their remit. Parking was deregulated to allow councils to employ private companies to enforce it, so is poor parking still a police matter?

  • Hi.

    Can you please tell me if there is any plans for more houses to be built on the parkland ajoining sweyne school.
    I viewed a property on the estate recently , and the vendor indicated that this may be happening.
    Thanks.

  • By the way, looks like the work for the new crossing at the end of DPW is about to start, there are notices warning of imminent work starting on the traffic lights.