New parking permit scheme in Weston-super-Mare 'just doesn’t work'
A petition has been launched to press council bosses to consider changes to a new on-street parking regime in Weston-super-Mare to make it fairer for residents.
North Somerset Council introduced the parking scheme, which saw meters installed on 28 streets in the town centre, in November.
People wanting to park in the centre between 9am and 6pm are charged 20 pence for the first 20 minutes, £1 for an hour, £1.80 for 90 minutes and £2.40 for a maximum stay of two hours.
As part of the changes, the authority introduced a residents' parking permit scheme offering people extended parking on street from 5pm to 10am. Each household in the area is able to buy up to two permits, the first at £31 and a second for £62
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Despite the council maintaining that the scheme is working well and has freed up parking in the town centre, local residents want the permit initiative reviewed.
They say it does not work and often they are forced to park in Locking Road car park and walk home.
A petition has now been set up by councillors Mike Bell and Clare Kingsbury-Bell asking North Somerset to review the permit scheme.
The petition has already collected around 100 signatures from people calling for changes.
Mrs Kingsbury-Bell said: “The permit scheme as it is just does not work and changes need to be made to it.
“It only works really for people who work a standard day and certainly not for those who work from home, are retired or who perhaps work nights.
“Some people are having to park at Locking Road car park and then walk home in the dark.
“The council needs to look again at the scheme and talk to residents to see how they live their lives.”
Mrs Kingsbury-Bell has suggested the authority launches a scratchcard scheme, similar to ones operated in London, for residents parking. Residents would be able to buy a card allowing them to park for an allotted time and then scratch off the time and date they arrived before displaying it in their car.
Mrs Kingsbury Bell added: “The scheme needs to be more flexible and should allow residents to park where they want to park.”
Council bosses said the scheme was necessary to regulate parking in the town and followed concerns from traders, shoppers and residents that motorists were flouting existing parking restrictions by leaving cars in timed bays for longer than allowed.
The authority is now considering introducing parking charges in Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead.