Parking charges ‘an attack’ on Weston people

PUBLISHED: 09:59 23 May 2012

Machines are set to be introduced in 27 streets in Weston town centre

Machines are set to be introduced in 27 streets in Weston town centre

Archant

PLANS to introduce on-street parking charges in busy shopping areas have been branded ‘an attack on Weston residents’ by the town’s civic society.

The Mercury has reported in recent weeks how North Somerset Council is looking to install parking meters on a number of streets in the middle of town.

The idea is to help shops by increasing turnover in parking spaces, but there will also be a fee levied against householders in the affected areas. This will mean Weston residents will have to pay as much as £62 a year for just two hours’ a day of free parking outside their homes.

And although the idea has yet to be formally ratified by the authority – councillors are still in dispute about the hourly rate, but expected to approve the idea later this morning (Wednesday) – the prospect has come under fire from members of Weston Civic Society.

In the heritage body’s monthly newsletter, it warns shoppers could end up boycotting Weston altogether as a result of the charges.

It says: “The plan to introduce parking meters is an attack on Weston residents.

“Those who live in and near the town centre will face an additional charge for the privilege of keeping a car.

“Visitors who do not choose to pay, and hadn’t thought to go to Nailsea or Portishead or Clevedon, where it is largely free, will simply go and park outside the houses of those who live in the streets immediately beyond the central area, causing even more congestion and inconvenience than is already rife.

“If the local authority wants people who work in the town centre to park vehicles somewhere else, leaving room for shoppers, it could try the incentive of reducing or removing the charge payable at central car parks.

“The proposed scheme punishes people who live in central Weston and threatens those who live in residential roads on the fringe of the centre who do not want to debase their area by pulling down their front garden walls to create off-street parking.

“It also targets those who are trying to stay in business in central Weston in spite of everything, so it is hardly a way of increasing Weston’s economic vitality.”

The council’s executive is due to consider the implementation of charges on 27 Weston streets at a meeting beginning at 11am today.


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