Parking charges look likely for Clevedon seafront and Portishead Esplanade
PARKING charges look likely to be introduced along the seafront in Portishead and Clevedon.
Members of the North Somerset Council strategic planning and economic working party – set up to consider the introduction of parking charges across the north of the district – are due to meet this week to finalise their recommendations.
Although full details of the proposals have yet to be revealed, The Post can confirm that the working party is recommending parking charges are introduced along The Esplanade at Portishead and The Beach at Clevedon.
The charges however will not apply to people visiting Portishead Open Air Pool and a scheme is likely to be drawn up to ensure free parking remains for lido visitors.
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The working party is recommending introducing parking charges along Hill Road – one of Clevedon's most prestigious shopping areas.
It is understood that Nailsea's three main town centre car parks – which currently offer three hours of free parking – will escape the introduction of charges
The car parks – which are owned by North Somerset Council – are managed by Nailsea Town Council.
The town council has already asked the authority to issue it with a 25 year lease to enable it to take on full operation of the car parks.
The working party was also looking at introducing charges in other areas of the district, including on some town centre streets. Details on whether fees will be implemented in these areas have yet to be revealed.
The working party's recommendations will then go to the authority's strategic planning and economic development panel on April 9.
But a final decision on whether to implement parking charges lies with the executive.
Working party chairman Councillor Clive Webb said: "At the moment these are just recommendations which could be rejected or changed by the SPED panel and the executive.
"We are recommending charges are introduced along The Esplanade in Portishead with a caveat that the open air pool is protected.
"We are also recommending charges are introduced along The Beach at Clevedon.
"A lot of people using these parking spaces are tourists and we do not think they should get a free ride and they should pay to enjoy the coastline of North Somerset. A similar scheme is already running and works in Weston-super-Mare."
Moves to introduce parking charges in the north of the district have already met with strong opposition from residents and local businesses, many of which have launched petitions against the move.
They say introducing charging will just force people outside of the district to shop, damaging trade as well as forcing motorists onto residential streets to avoid having to pay.