An end to Weston-super-Mare's 'illegal' parking?
PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 September 2015 | UPDATED: 11:45 08 September 2015
AN END to 'inconsiderate' parking could be in sight for people living in Weston-super-Mare town centre if plans to hand over responsibility for on-street parking to North Somerset Council are approved today (Tuesday).
The powers for civil parking enforcement (CPE), which include responsibility for double yellow lines and disabled bays, currently rest with Avon and Somerset Constabulary. However, they could be handed over to the council from October 2016 when its executive votes on the issue at its meeting on Tuesday.
Council officers have recommended councillors approve the decision, and have also advised the executive to include bus lane powers if it submits an application to the Department of Transport for CPE control in April 2016.
Central ward councillor and leader of the North Somerset Liberal Democrat group Mike Bell welcomed the recommendation.
He said: “I am delighted the council is moving forward with the introduction of civil parking enforcement as this is something I have campaigned on for many years.
“It’s eight years since the council first planned to make this move and now it will hopefully finally happen next year.
“This will be good news for town centre residents, who will see an improvement in parking availability and an end to illegal and inconsiderate parking.”
The officers’ recommendation report said possible benefits of handing over parking powers to the council would include more ‘free-flowing’ traffic and a higher turnover of parking spaces.
However, the recommendation does not include a plan for a residents’ parking scheme, which was criticised by Cllr Bell.
He said: “It is disappointing the plans don’t include proposals for a residents’ parking scheme, especially for those living in the on-street pay-and-display zone in the town centre.
“People living in the town centre still won’t be able to park in their own street during the day without paying an hourly fee. I will be working with residents to continue to persuade the council to act on this.”