Bath & North East Somerset Council is seeking people’s views on its new parking strategy, which aims to balance the needs of the wide variety of communities across the district.
The strategy is based on previous public consultation, and the views that people have already expressed about parking. It also aims to balance the needs of local people and businesses, and a range of social, economic and environmental issues, such as air quality and congestion.
The Council has set out long-term plans for parking that fit with its wider aim to tackle congestion, improve air quality, ease parking pressures, and ensure a thriving economy that will benefit all.
With this in mind – and taking account of what local people have told us about parking – their proposals aim to:
- Prioritise the parking needs of residents and disabled users;
- Reduce areas of congestion with the knock-on effect of better air quality;
- Support local business;
- Balance increased demand for parking against limited availability in the city;
- Support the regeneration of key towns;
- Tailor solutions to the needs of different areas.
Cllr Mark Shelford (Conservative, Lyncombe), Cabinet Member for Transport & Environment, said: “The demand for parking, and how the Council can best manage this demand in the interests of residents, businesses and our environment, is one of the biggest issues affecting communities across Bath & North East Somerset.
No single initiative can on its own reduce congestion, improve air quality and manage the increasing demand on our road networks as the area grows.
“Therefore, what we need are joined-up plans and incentives that encourage people to choose sustainable transport options wherever possible. At the same time, we also need to consider the important role that parking plays in supporting our local economy.
“Our proposed parking strategy therefore seeks to balance the needs of all residents, road users and local businesses, and is just one aspect of our wider approach to managing congestion whilst supporting economic growth.
“The Council recently consulted with local people to gain a better understanding of how parking affects them, and their responses have been critical in shaping this strategy. We’ve done our best to balance the needs of the whole community, with the aim of putting residents, disabled users and local businesses first.
“The proposals contained within our draft parking strategy will now be subject to a further final round of public consultation, and so I would encourage residents, businesses and all interested parties to respond to this consultation and give their views.”
The strategy is committed to ensuring that free parking continues where it’s already available – including South Road in Midsomer Norton, Church Road in Radstock, Larkhall and Denmark Street in Bath – to encourage patronage of local shops, restaurants and services.
Parking charges across the area will be periodically assessed to ensure they are comparative with privately-owned car parks in the same area.
Parking charges in the centre of Bath and Keynsham will be managed to discourage long-stay/ commuter use, with on-street longer-stay tariffs in Bath (of more than 2 or 3 hours) being reviewed.
You can read the full consultation report and give your feedback online at www.bathnes.gov.uk/parkingstrategy. Printed versions of the summary and survey are available from any of the Council’s libraries and one stop shops, where you can also review the full strategy.
The public engagement runs until 23rd October, 2017.
Members of the Council’s Parking Services Team will be available to answer questions at the following drop-in sessions:
- Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 27th September, 1-8pm;
- The Guildhall, Bath, 28th September, 1-8pm;
- Keynsham Community Space, 29th September, 3.30-9pm.
The Council has also produced a dedicated Coach Strategy to help reduce disruption to residents caused by insensitive coach parking in the city.
Cllr Mark Shelford added: “We recognise that coach parking is a major issue for many people in Bath, which is why we are proposing some limited short-stay coach parking and getting the majority of coaches out of the city centre to keep Bath moving.
“We are also keen to hear people’s views on our proposals for coach parking and how it will improve traffic flow, and we encourage anyone interested to have their say in our Coach Strategy consultation too.”
The Coach Strategy proposes long-stay coach parking on the outskirts of the city at Odd Down Park & Ride, supported by specific pick-up and drop-off points at strategic on-street places within the city, with waiting times restricted to 20 minutes.
Very limited short-stay coach parking for 1.5 hours is proposed at Green Park and the A4 lay-by.
For more information on the full Coach Strategy and how you can take part in the public engagement, visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/coachstrategy.