Parking charge proposals delayed - again


- Credit: James Franklin

PROPOSALS on whether to introduce parking charges on streets in Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead will not be put forward this month as anticipated.

A North Somerset Council working party set-up to look into how and where such charges could be implemented was expected to put forward its ideas to the Strategic Planning and Economic Development Policy and Scrutiny Panel (SPED) on Monday.

However, its members have so far failed to come up with or agree on any suitable recommendations. As a result, it is not now known when any proposals will be put forward.

As part of its efforts to plug its multi-million-pound funding gap, the council is looking into introducing more on-street and off-street parking charges.

Such charges have already been implemented in Weston and it is thought North Somerset Council is now waiting to see how successful the scheme is before making any decisive moves for the north of the district.

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A report submitted to the SPED panel on Monday said that despite the strong opposition to charges being introduced in Weston’s town centre, the move has meant 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 introduction.

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Council deputy leader, Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, said: “While there was some initial opposition to the idea - some of it ill-informed - the report shows 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.”

Since the idea for parking charges in Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead was announced, it has come up against fierce opposition with thousands of people signing petitions in all three towns. They fear it will severely affect trade and also mean many people having to pay to park near their homes.

Whenever any recommendations are put to the SPED panel, they will then have to be approved by the authority’s executive before being implemented.

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