This is not quite the full story

COUNCILLOR ap Rees blames the police for the dire state of on-street car parking in Weston town centre, however this is not quite the full story as well he knows.

COUNCILLOR ap Rees blames the police for the dire state of on-street car parking in Weston town centre, however this is not quite the full story as well he knows.

Police authorities no longer employ traffic wardens, in consequence of which local councils have tended to take full responsibility for on-street parking provision and enforcement of regulations - but not in North Somerset.

Just over two years ago, following lengthy and quiet discussions with police, bus operators and other transport professionals, town centre resident and trader groups and finance officers I released details of a cost-neutral scheme for managing the problem (not solving, for such is the nature of our car-borne society that nothing will 'solve' the problem to everyone's satisfaction). This scheme would have seen the introduction of day time pay and display on-street parking with minimal short-term charges set at a level to finance the employment of wardens and not used as a source of council income.

It would have encouraged a healthy turnover of parking thereby aiding town centre shopping and would have discouraged the all day parking by employees which currently clogs every street from 9am until 5pm.


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Resident parking permits would also have been introduced, though admittedly this would have almost certainly caused a knock-on effect in the residential areas immediately beyond the controlled zone; a situation which would have needed careful monitoring and further action.

Those proposals were by no means perfect - nothing ever will be - but they were carefully evaluated and would have brought some benefit to residents, traders and visitors.

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The current situation is a disgrace and the five councillors who represent both Central and West Wards have done nothing to lessen the burden imposed by two years inaction.

All proposals to improve traffic flow incur public wrath and it's always the 'other' driver who causes the problem but that's no excuse for shirking political responsibility.

Blaming the police and allowing Tesco to soak up excess parking will solve nothing.

JOHN CROCKFORD-HAWLEY

Former executive member for strategic planning and transport

Gerard Road, Weston

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