Parking scheme to encourage shoppers, not residents
PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 August 2012 | UPDATED: 09:22 15 August 2012
ALTERNATIVE schemes will be looked at for Weston’s town centre pay-and-display scheme – but it will still be launched in its current state in October.
North Somerset Council’s scheme was debated at a meeting on Tuesday after Liberal Democrat councillors called it back in for further discussion after raising concerns over the residents’ permit scheme and displaced parking.
Despite the authority’s deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees agreeing that officers would look into an alternative permit scheme run in Oxford, the scheme will still go ahead in its current form in October.
The plans would see pay-and-display meters introduced on 27 streets and a residents’ permit scheme introduced for £31, offering one hour of parking on the affected streets from 9-10am and one from 5-6pm.
After the executive had initially approved the scheme, LibDem councillors demanded it go before the all members, after saying they were concerned about the effects it would have on residents in the 27 streets, and on areas outside those streets that could see displaced cars parking there.
At the meeting, LibDem group leader Mike Bell asked if the council could introduce a more flexible permit scheme similar to that currently operated in Oxford.
Fellow group member Mark Canniford said: “Not only will the scheme make it unattractive to live in the area, but it is also simply unfair on the people who have already bought homes there and have been able to park their cars outside their own homes.”
He added that motorists would also park on areas outside of the affected zone in order to avoid fines – thus making life more difficult for residents living in those streets.
John Crockford-Hawley said he was concerned that the scheme would lead to residents in affected walls knocking down their front walls to create new parking spaces and avoid paying charges.
Despite repeated questions about whether the scheme would be rolled out in other areas of Weston and North Somerset, no answer was forthcoming at the meeting.
Cllr Ap Rees agreed officers should look at the Oxford scheme, and prepare a report about the potential effects of displaced traffic.
He said: “The whole idea of this scheme is to encourage more parking spaces in the town for shoppers, not residents.
“We need to be able to test this and carry it out as a first step.”
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