'Parking scheme has just moved problem along' - Redland businessman says council needs to sort out "nightmare" it has created
A NEW parking scheme in Cotham has solved a long-standing problem for residents – but created a "nightmare" in nearby Redland.
That's the view of Robert O'Leary, a director of an architects' practice in Alexandra Park who believes the city council should have given more thought to the consequences of introducing the Cotham scheme.
He said only about half of the parking spaces in Cotham are in use during the day which means streets remain empty while commuters are forced out to neighbouring Redland which has clogged the streets with cars.
He said this was now causing a huge problem for residents and businesses in an area which has a mix of shops, offices, small-sized firms, houses and flats.
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Mr O'Leary said: "The problem is parking for all of the people who work in and around the Residents' Parking Scheme (RPS).
"Anyone working outside the RPS and affected by the restrictions cannot park there.
"Similarly, there are relatively few businesses within the RPS to make use of the few permits made available to them."
He said the result was that commuters now have to leave their cars further out – in Redland – while roadspace in Cotham is not used during the day.
He said: "I do worry about the long-term effects this will have on my business. Until little over two months ago, we had an ideal location for walking to and from work, for driving when we needed to, for staff to park and for visitors to come and see us.
"Now we can hardly even use the pavements as the roads are so narrow that cars go one wheel up on the kerb – otherwise the bin lorries can't get by.
"The parking problems have been caused by a deliberate act by the council – listening to one group without listening to the effects on others.
"There appears to be no mitigation strategy and no willingness to look at how 'wasted' parking space can be put to better use for the benefit of the local community, resident or employed."
He said the answer was not to extend the RPS to incorporate Redland because this would just push the problem out to other suburbs.
Mr O'Leary said the council should be big enough to realise there were problems and take action to sort them out.
A city council spokesperson said: "The council welcomes comments on the Cotham residents' parking scheme as part of the review of the scheme which takes place in the six-month period following the go-live date.
"Residents in and around the scheme can comment by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The mayor is reviewing current policy on residents' parking, and the timescales for delivering more schemes in areas where parking space is causing problems for local people and businesses.
"They are very successful and popular where they are up and running, and many more residents have come forward to enquire about the possibility for a scheme in their area."
The Cotham RPS which was introduced in December follows a similar parking scheme in Kingsdown which has now been running for two years.
Residents covered by the RPS have to pay £30 a year to park one car, £80 for two while businesses have to pay £100 for each parking permit.
People who do not have a permit have to pay to park during working hours or run the risk of a parking ticket.
The zone operates from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Each household is entitled to 100 visitors' permits per year, the first 50 are free and the rest cost £1 each.