Parking scheme a success says council

PUBLISHED: 17:30 16 January 2013

Despite previous ‘ill-informed’ opposition Weston’s new on-street parking system is working well - North Somerset Council officials say.

A report on the pay and display initiative will be considered by North Somerset Council’s strategic planning and economic development scrutiny panel next week.

Council deputy leader, Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, said: “Although it’s very early days, the indications are that the scheme is having the effects we wanted it to.

“While there was some initial opposition to the idea - some of it ill-informed, the report shows that the scheme has been well received by the majority and we have had a number of letters from local traders and residents congratulating us for what we’ve done.”

The report shows that since the new charging scheme began to operate in November more shoppers and visitors have been able to find spaces easily near shops and services.

As a result some business owners have said footfall or turnover has increased by 25 per cent since the scheme’s introduction and one said that they had seen a 90 per cent increase in turnover.

There has also been an increase in the number of blue badge holders parking in marked bays, meaning they are not parking in loading bays or on double yellow lines.

The Town Centre Partnership says the turnover of spaces has been welcomed by independent traders, the mechanised road sweeper is now able to access and clean the channels and gullies, making the town a whole lot cleaner and pedestrian access is a lot safer as cars are no longer illegally parked.

Cllr Ap Rees added: “This scheme was never about raising revenue, but improving the vitality of the town and the viability of local businesses by encouraging people to come here and spend.

“Obviously we will need to look at figures over a longer period of time, but if the scheme continues to deliver this sort of increased prosperity we will all be very pleased.

“We are covering the costs as predicted, ensuring that no burden falls on the general taxpayer.

“We have already committed to spend any revenue raised in excess at the year end on highway maintenance, which in these days of shrinking budgets will be further good news for road users.”

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