TapResidents Parking Zone

Parking ConsultationParking cars is a real problem in our central city area and congestion is a big issue locally as well as nationally. When combined with lobbies from the Green interests as well it is a hot topic for debate. Recently the city council has issued a “consultation” document and a proposal to set one up in the greater urban area (there are already controls in the centre). The quotes are because it says a reasonable amount about the scheme but doesn’t allow much opportunity for response apart from directly lobbying the councillors. Also the public exhibitions are bang in the middle of the holiday season.

The initial thoughts were that it was a good idea. £40 per year does not seem unreasonable that a space, though not guaranteed, should be available. They say it is for administration and enforcement and, to adequately patrol the area will be expensive. A system that is not enforced will be worse than we have now. Studying it more closely we came up with some issues that they apparently have not considered (or are not telling us about). These thoughts may only apply to our immediate area and others have have a different experience. (Nice picture of our church on the front by the way.)

There is a neighbouring street, presumably within our zone, which contains a number of restaurants, bars and pubs. Their businesses will suffer if they cannot attract customers from a wide area due to no parking being available. Although we often curse the load this places on space in the evenings, it dramatically affects the character of where we live. The business permits don’t allow for this. Similarly, our church is inside a zone close by (the one in the picture); we usually walk, but worshippers come from all over. There is very limited off road space—no more than 8 cars. It may also force it to get officious and get stranger’s cars removed.

Parking Sceme MapWhat happens if our parking zone is full? The situation now is that we tour the area in ever increasing circles until we find a space but if those are barred to us due to being in another zone then what do we do? It rather depends on how large our zone is and what sort of streets it covers. They say a zone will be 300-500 households which does not seem very large.

Strictly enforced planning will need to be applied to stop the area being blighted by the loss of front gardens converted to off road parking. Also the practice of stripping the entire front garden to create a 25′ wide standing and corresponding haulage way must be stopped as this will remove a disproportionate number of street spaces. Indeed, existing wide haulage ways must be restricted to only that required for access.

They talk about providing double yellows (no parking) markings for corners and access ways. Although this is a serious problem with access to some roads becoming very difficult due to stupid parking, a strict adherence to the highway code requirements is unnecessary and would significantly curtail the available spaces.

Where does one buy visitors permits and what will be the arrangement for carry over to following years if too many were estimated. We will not be wanting to traipse down to the council house nor will we be happy to have too much capital tied up “just in case” nor if they expire prematurely.

Bus Map for RedlandThey will charge £80 for a second permit and this is not bank breaking either though it makes you think twice about needing a second car. The third is shown as £500—now this clearly has nothing to do with costs, this is to stop people even considering getting one. I can see that they might want to use it to restrict multiple occupancy houses in the area (mostly students around us) but some of the families have three people where an adult child is working in a different part of the city but has not yet left home. Why force them to set up independently when there is also a housing crisis. The public transport would have to be a lot better to compensate. Those of us who live in the centre often work on the outskirts and there are few bus services.They say that even a second permit will not be available in some (unspecified) zones. This would be unacceptable.

A final thought came from thinking deeply about our immediate area. I came to the conclusion that, apart from the bar/restaurant evening load, our parking problem is mostly self inflicted. Stopping non-residents parking will make no difference at all because they don’t. We are too far from the city centre for commuters. The only way that is likely to affect us is if restrictions closer in force the commuters out to our patch. If that is the case, then where do you draw the limit? So when it comes to it, we want to manage our own parking, with help if needed to enforce safety restrictions where necessary.

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