Report by Alex Evans, Reporter
Monday, April 30, 2012
WESTON motorists living on town centre streets will have to pay a yearly fee for just two hours of parking a day outside their homes under conditions of the council’s new pay-and-display scheme.
Last week, North Somerset Council decided to introduce pay-and-display charges for 27 streets in Weston.
The charges, set to be introduced in September, will see drivers pay £1.20 per hour for a maximum stay of two hours.
Charges will apply from 9am-6pm Monday-Saturday, mirroring the current limited waiting restrictions.
People who live in the affected streets will be able to buy a permit to park in the bays for £62 a year – but the money will only provide two hours’ free parking per day in the bays.
Holders of permits will get one hour free in the morning, from 9-10am, and one hour in the evening, from 5-6pm.
It means residents will be able to leave cars in their bays overnight but have to move them into non-charged streets between 10am-5pm if they are at home – or pay again during the day.
Brian Sheldrake, of Palmer Row, said: “The whole thing is a total and utter shambles. It assumes everybody in the town centre is working.
“Some people are ill, some people are retired or don’t work. I think it is grossly unfair on residents.
“The whole thing seems to be geared towards providing two-hour parking for shoppers.”
Cllr John Crockford-Hawley said the scheme will not work until the council takes on the responsibility for policing illegal parking on double yellow lines.
He said: “Not addressing the issue is going to be a fundamental problem to the scheme.
“North Somerset Council is the only authority in this part of England which refuses to adopt responsibility for yellow lines as well.”
Cllr Mike Bell said: “Elfan Ap Rees doesn’t believe that civil enforcement is a good idea, so it isn’t going to happen.”
He went on to say that two issues in particular need to be raised when a consultation is held with the public this summer.
He added: “I think we need to make the strongest possible case. I think we have got to be arguing for lower hourly rates and I also think we need to do something about the effect on surrounding areas.”