Residents' permits 'may be the answer' as review of parking in Weston nears launch
PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 September 2018
A review of parking regulations in Weston-super-Mare will begin in the coming weeks, as councillors assess how to solve the conundrum causing much frustration in the town centre.
North Somerset Council will launch a cross-party review of parking – which has long been a hot topic in Weston, particularly since the authority took control of enforcement from Avon and Somerset Constabulary in April 2017 – across North Somerset, eight months after it was promised.
Complaints have been made from some shoppers, homeowners and businessmen alike.
They feel the authority’s parking policies, and the enforcement of them, has created or exacerbated a myriad of issues including a lack of provision for residents and declining footfall in the town centre.
A widespread review of parking was promised by the council’s leader, Nigel Ashton, in January, but little progress has been made in the following months, prompting Cllr Mike Bell to call for a working party to be set up to review the issue at the full council meeting at the Town Hall on Tuesday.
But Cllr Ashton revealed work to set up the review has already begun, with councillors to be consulted in the coming weeks, and talks with parish and town councils will follow.
On Tuesday, he said: “We’ve already started. We need to make sure we encapsulate all the issues to cover the rights of residents, tourists, shoppers and shop workers.
“We are never going to be able to answer all of those, but we need to set a framework so there is some sort of structure.
“Officers are creating a programme for the review, and I will go through that with them in the next few weeks.”
He added residents’ parking permits, which have long been called for by people living in the town centre ‘may be the answer in some areas’.
Hillside ward Cllr Mark Canniford, whose constituents are among those most acutely affected by the lack of parking provision outside their homes, believes the review is vital to the future of Weston.
Addressing Cllr Ashton, he said: “We have a lot of issues, including the declining footfall in our town centre.
“We, and particularly you, have a responsibility to make sure we reverse that trend.
“Because if you don’t you are going to damage the investment you have just put into the town centre.”