No to a library parking move

PUBLISHED: 10:59 21 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:44 24 May 2010

MOVES to open Clevedon's library car park to the public in a bid to reduce on street parking have been squashed. Clevedon Town Council had asked North Somerset Council to consider allowing the car park for library users to be open as a public car park to

MOVES to open Clevedon's library car park to the public in a bid to reduce on street parking have been squashed.Clevedon Town Council had asked North Somerset Council to consider allowing the car park for library users to be open as a public car park to reduce the number of people leaving their cars on Highdale Road.But the authority has refused the request and said the only way to make it a general car park would be to introduce a pay and display system.Any further discussion on the future of the car park has been put on hold pending the results of a parking review currently being carried by the authority.But the suggestion of eventually introducing pay and display at the library has angered some local councillors who say it should remain free.They are concerned that if charges are introduced it could deter people from using the facility or force visitors to park on nearby roads.Clevedon councillor John Norton-Sealey said: "I think it would be wrong to introduce parking charges at a community facility like the library. It is a public service and why should people pay not only to borrow books but also to park there."I can understand that some car parks, such as the seafront ones, should carry charges, but not ones such as these which are relied upon by local people."North Somerset Council executive member for strategic planning and transport John Crockford-Hawley said: "I am looking at car parking charges across the district as a whole, but this does not mean a decision has been made."As an authority we are looking at all the on street and off street parking provision in the district."I would not want to discourage people from visiting the library, but I think we need to look at parking strategies across the district as a whole."Currently the authority is responsible for all on street car parks and at many operates a pay and display system. It is due to take over responsibility for parking enforcement from the police in 2008.Cllr Crockford-Hawley added: "No free car park is actually free as the council has to pay business rates on all its car parks whether there are pay and display or not."At free car parks, the rates are subsidised by the authority and ultimately at the cost to the taxpayer.

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