Portishead traders vow to fight parking charge proposals
TRADERS are gearing up to fight moves to introduce charging for car parking in parts of Portishead.
North Somerset Council strategic planning and economic development (SPED) scrutiny panel is currently investigating where parking meters and charges for parking could be introduced in Portishead, Clevedon and Nailsea.
A special working group has been set up to look at possible changes and is due to report back to the authority's executive member for highways, Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, by the end of the summer.
If agreed, the proposals could come into force early next year.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
The move to consider parking arrangements in the north of the district follows a decision by the council to introduce parking meters in Weston-super-Mare town centre.
The move was agreed in a bid to free up parking spaces in the town following complaints from residents and traders that people were leaving their cars all day, preventing visitors and shoppers from using them.
Areas under consideration in the northern part of the district include The Esplanade in Portishead, The Beach at Clevedon, Elton Road and Old Church Road.
Investigations are also being carried out into the introduction of parking meters and charging in the car parks in the town centres in Clevedon, Portishead and Nailsea.
But traders in Portishead say any move to introduce charging to park could "cripple" trade in the town and force shoppers elsewhere.
Currently people can park for free in the car park at the rear of the precinct as well as the car park at Roath Road.
Parking along The Esplanade at the Lake Ground is also currently free.
Plans to introduce parking charges in the town around 10 ten years ago prompted massive objections from residents and traders who collected several thousand names on a petition, forcing the idea to be dropped.
Portishead trader Bob Hughes, who runs Top Hat and Tails in the High Street, said: "If the council agrees to introduce parking charges in Portishead it will have a severe effect on trade, especially when there is free parking 10 minutes up the M5 at The Mall.
"The council needs to be looking at how it can help keep high streets in the district vibrant and lively places," he said.
"Introducing parking charges is against current thinking and policy and we already pay business rates which the council gets a proportion of. We are in tough economic times and it is already difficult enough for businesses to keep afloat.
"Introducing parking charges is completely against what the businesses and residents in Portishead want and it is something local businesses will fight."
Councillors in the town have also raised concerns at the possibility of parking charges.
Portishead councillor David Pasley said: "Free parking is something which attracts people to Portishead and it should be retained."
The SPED panel will consult with town and parish councillors before making any recommendations.
North Somerset Council executive member for highways, Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, said: "Nothing has been ruled in or out."