Monday, March 05, 2007

Residents' Parking - Update

Frustrated residents are joining forces to save their streets from commuter parking.

Two groups have combined their efforts to battle for parking permits.

Residents from Thomas Street and the surrounding area have been pushing for a residents' parking scheme for some time.

They say the area, which is a short walk from the city centre, is currently a parking free-for-all.

Camden Residents' Association has been fighting a similar battle after the issue was first raised several years ago.

Now the two areas are joining forces to lobby for funding to create the permit zone in the coming council year.

Amy Morris, who has been heavily involved in the Thomas Street campaign, said that new double-yellow lines on a neighbouring road increased pressure on the available spaces. The lines on Pera Road were put in last week, but the problems are still going on. A few spaces have been lost, but the number of commuters, residents and shoppers hasn't gone down. There is a lot of support in our area for the residents' parking zone. However, at the moment the council won't move it on because the area is too small for a zone on its own."

Chairman of the Camden association Nigel Sherwen said that initial enquiries in the area, around two years ago, had been split in half for and against residents' parking.

But a survey from March last year had seen figures rise to a more conclusive majority in favour.

"We agreed at the AGM we would review the figures we had," he said. This time there was a healthy majority for a zone - at the west end of Camden it was up around 80 per cent. The council told us this was enough support, but that we weren't a big enough zone. That's where Thomas Street comes into it, to the south of Camden. We want to help the council. We have offered to distribute information and hopefully we can get money into next year's budget for the ground work. If it all goes well, then by September or October, it could be in place."

Councillor David Dixon (Lib Dem, Walcot ward) said joining forces was likely to prove beneficial for both areas.

"That area is the closest place to the city centre without residents' parking schemes. We need to take a wider approach on these things and think about the knock-on effect for each area. I don't think you can bring it in to one area and not the other. It will just displace all the traffic to the other area."

Story thanks to Anna Mansell, Bath Chronicle