Permit parking plans shelved by the council

CONTROVERSIAL parking plans in Weston are to be completely reviewed by North Somerset Council after residents voiced their opposition

CONTROVERSIAL parking plans in Weston are to be completely reviewed by North Somerset Council after residents voiced their opposition.

The move comes after a hundreds of people told the council it did not want new plans for a controlled parking zone where residents would be forced to pay for a parking permit and parking meters.

The plans were put forward as part of the transfer of parking enforcement to the council from the police.

But the 400-strong response to the public consultation has been described as 'disappointing'.

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Councillor Elfan Ap Rees said: "To be honest we have always had doubts about the brief given to officers by the previous administration.

"Over the last four months I have been urging officers to find a simpler solution than one that requires more than 14 staff to run it and adds to the financial burden that residents and motorists already have to bear.

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"However we did agree to the public consultation exercise on Transfer of Parking Services (TOPS) going ahead, in order to measure public reaction to the original scheme.

"Bearing in mind the population of North Somerset, and even just that of Weston, I have to say the number of responses was disappointing at less than 400, 25 per cent of which were from blue badge holders.

"This was despite sending out forms to all residents and businesses in Weston town centre, publicity in local newspapers and public displays held across the district.

"Nevertheless even that small sample showed us the degree of unhappiness from CPZ residents at plans to charge them and their visitors for parking outside their own homes, from residents outside the CPZ worried the restrictions would push the problem onto their streets and from others who are generally opposed to the whole principle of parking meters and the effects of on-street charging."

Currently Avon & Somerset Constabulary is responsible for on-street parking enforcement but the Government is planning to pass this task and the associated costs on to local authorities in due course, although no date has yet been set.

The council is now likely to wait until the Government transfers powers across from the police rather than taking on responsibility ahead of time.

Officers will look at new options and will also continue their review of current on-street parking restrictions.

They will investigate the costs of removing unnecessary yellow lines and will take into account comments from the public consultation, including the number of loading bays and the current abuses of the blue badge system called for by local and national disability groups.

Detailed results of the consultation will be available at from the end of the month.

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