Plans for parking charges in towns put on hold

Cllr Mark Canniford said a residents' parking permit in Weston town centre will be delayed.

Cllr Mark Canniford said a residents' parking permit in Weston town centre will be delayed. - Credit: Archant

Plans to bring new parking charges to Clevedon, Portishead and Nailsea have been put on hold.

The tariffs were proposed earlier this year as part of a cross-party parking review launched in response to ongoing problems across North Somerset.

At its meeting on October 21, North Somerset Council’s executive voted to extend the review to better assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on parking habits before changes are made, and to continue work to look at options to introduce residents’ parking permit schemes.

Cllr Mark Canniford, executive member with responsibility for parking, said: “We ran a consultation about proposed parking changes in February and March. But with the impact of the national lockdown and the ongoing pandemic, now is not the time to be making big changes to parking in our town centres or on our seafronts.

“We have listened to feedback from residents and town councils and can confirm we will not be taking forward proposals for new charges at this time, but we will continue to look at the management of parking in North Somerset as part of our longer-term planning.”

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Consultation results showed support for parking charges to be introduced at Leigh Woods where a scheme has been called for by homeowners for some time.

Cllr Canniford added: “With different issues, including the impact of commuter parking, the Leigh Woods area has a much clearer case for introducing an on-street parking scheme now which includes pay and display parking charges and residents’ permits.

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“There was a huge amount of consultation and we’ve gone backwards and forwards with residents and we changed the scheme on several points. It will be reviewed in six months to make any necessary changes.

“The Leigh Woods scheme can then act as a pilot as we look to introduce resident parking schemes throughout the district.”

Charging is expected to be introduced to the streets around Leigh Woods next year. As well as extending the review, transport officers will also look at issues raised as part of the consultation and investigate solutions.

Cllr Ash Cartman added: “This has been a really tricky issue, possibly the trickiest I’ve encountered.

“For Leigh Woods, additional restricted street parking will be introduced in the vicinity of the church to better meet the needs of visitors and residents, spaces would not be available for all day parking.”

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