Parking charges to be introduced in Clevedon, Portishead and Nailsea
- Credit: Archant
Charges will be introduced in car parks in Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead.
North Somerset Council is set to spend £760,000 on a raft of parking controls in car parks and on streets to cut carbon emissions and increase space turnover.
Pay and display machines are also set to be introduced at the Clevedon Road long-stay car park in Nailsea, and at Roath Road and High Street car parks in Portishead.
Charges could be introduced at the Lake Grounds in future.
The executive agreed on and off-street parking charges in principle on January 7 and the council will launch a consultation on the proposals.
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Council leader Don Davies said: "Car parking is not a free item, there's pollution associated.
"There's a cost to society, each car park costs us £50,000. It's not free to us as a council.
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"People who pay council tax in villages ask us why they have to subsidise parking elsewhere."
Responding to calls for better public transport so people are less reliant on cars, Mr Davies said the council was 'hamstrung'.
In Clevedon, pay and display charges could be introduced at Marson Road car park, where the turnover of spaces is extremely low, and both car parks off Great Western Road, along with various streets including Hill Road.
Clevedon West councillor, Geoff Richardson, said he had a mailbox full of messages about the proposed charges.
He said: "The proposal for on-street parking charges in Clevedon will push traffic onto adjacent roads.
"It's a difficult ecosystem; if we upset it and aren't sure what the outcome will be, people will take a very dim view.
"We're in danger of shooting ourselves in the foot."
The parking review comes as plans for pay and display charges and a residents' permit scheme in Leigh Woods take shape - a pilot project which could tackle problem parking in other areas of North Somerset, including villages around Bristol Airport.
Mark Canniford, the executive member for parking, said the council had learned lessons from how charges were rolled out in Weston.
He said: "I owned a business and the charges were a benefit, even though I urged against them.
"They allow traffic to move - most people parking in the shopping areas tend to be staff and residents, which hinders business."