United front against parking plans

CLEVEDON traders and residents will present a united front to campaign against proposals to introduce parking charges in the town.

Up to 100 people turned out to a meeting at the town’s Royal Oak Pub, which was full to standing, to learn about the campaign against North Somerset Council’s proposals.

The gathering on July 10 was organised by the landlady at the Copse Road pub, Linda Richards, who has also set up a petition against proposals which could see charges introduced for roads near the town centre and seafront, and in some car parks.

She said: “This could mean there would be parking permits, which we would have to buy, but we would still not be guaranteed a space outside our house.

“Every single business in Clevedon is struggling at the moment. If people had to pay to come for a pint or a sandwich they just wouldn’t.”

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So far, more than 1,600 signatures have been collected against the proposals, including on a separate petition created by owner of Scarlett’s Restaurant in The Beach, Jenny Williams, who fears for the future of the town’s businesses.

She said: “We are fighting the weather and the recession and now we are fighting the council.”

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Many of the streets suggested as part of the proposals are home to numerous residents, who are concerned about having to pay to park outside their houses as well as the impact it will have on their visitors.

Queens Road resident Pauline Ellis said: “It will be the residents who will suffer if this comes into force. My family members will be penalised for staying with me if they have to pay to park.”

Hill Road resident Betty Ford said: “We pay our taxes, so we don’t want to pay any more.”

The idea has been suggested by a North Somerset Council working party but the authority is yet to decide whether to continue with it. If it does, a formal public consultation will take place.

The proposals have been put together to try to alleviate parking problems in the town centre, The Beach and Hill Road area, which can see cars left in spaces for a whole day, preventing shoppers and visitors from being able to park for a short time.

Councillor Chris Blades said: “If the price structure is right then this should work.

“Traders in Hill Road, Alexandra Road and The Triangle have said they want something done about parking.”

More petitions have gone out to shops and residents and campaigners plan to speak at next month’s meeting of Clevedon Town Council.

Campaigners have also encouraged those against the charges to contact North Somerset Council with their concerns and to write to the police to urge them to enforce already-existing parking restrictions.

Anyone against the parking proposals can add their names to the online petition by visiting www.change.org and typing ‘Clevedon parking restrictions’ in the search box.

The proposals:

The plans could see parking metres for long-stay spaces installed in Marine Parade, Marine Hill, Lea Grove Road, Copse Road, The Beach, Seavale Road, Woodlands Road, Gardens Road, part of Alexandra Road and along Elton Road and Old Church Road by the Salthouse Fields.

Short-stay, paid-for spaces have been suggested for Old Church Road, Lower Queens Road, Hillside Road, Marson Road, Queens Road, Hill Road, Bellevue Road and part of Alexandra Road.

Charges could also come into force at Marson Road, Old Church Road and Great Western Road car parks.

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