Councils battle over car parking charges

December 12, 2012 11:47 AM

Two West Country councils are locked in battle over local car parking charges. North Somerset Council wants to introduce parking charges in council-run car parks in Nailsea—but Nailsea councillors agree with local traders and residents that this will be a tax on shopping and local business that will be bad news for the area.

North Somerset Council (NSC) has already provoked controversy by introducing parking charges on the streets of Weston-super-Mare, to the south of Nailsea.  As owners of the car parks in Nailsea they want to do the same there, but they face opposition from the local town councillors. Nailsea Town Council (NTC) want to sign a 25-year-lease with NSC so that they are responsible for management of the car parks—and they can keep them free.

'We think it is only right for our town that we are in control over our own car parks,' says NTC Chairman Rod Lees. 'This will allow us to get away from the constant threat by North Somerset of introducing car parking charges in the town. The town is going through a difficult time with empty shops and to introduce any sort of parking charges will just exacerbate the problems. The move to charge for parking also goes against the Mary Portas report.'

Absolutely, if only more councillors understood this!

'North Somerset may have introduced a scheme in Weston,' argues Cllr Lees, 'but that is a tourist resort with totally different needs to Nailsea and other towns in the north of the district. This is a win-win situation not only for Nailsea but North Somerset too. If parking charges are introduced people will avoid paying in Nailsea and just head to out of town complexes such as Cribbs Causeway.'

If only NTC can agree the lease with NSC, they have already put aside £50,000 in their budget to pay for the maintenance and improvement of the three car parks under threat for the next two years. A fourth car park run by a town centre management group has already agreed to continue offering free parking as well if the council deal goes through. This is the just the right use of taxpayers' money—benefiting local business people and residents. Well done Nailsea and Cllr Lees!

 Two West Country councils are locked in battle over local car parking charges. North Somerset Council wants to introduce parking charges in council-run car parks in Nailsea—but Nailsea councillors agree with local traders and residents that this will be a tax on shopping and local business that will be bad news for the area.

North Somerset Council (NSC) has already provoked controversy by introducing parking charges on the streets of Weston-super-Mare, to the south of Nailsea.  As owners of the car parks in Nailsea they want to do the same there, but they face opposition from the local town councillors. Nailsea Town Council (NTC) want to sign a 25-year-lease with NSC so that they are responsible for management of the car parks—and they can keep them free.

'We think it is only right for our town that we are in control over our own car parks,' says NTC Chairman Rod Lees. 'This will allow us to get away from the constant threat by North Somerset of introducing car parking charges in the town. The town is going through a difficult time with empty shops and to introduce any sort of parking charges will just exacerbate the problems. The move to charge for parking also goes against the Mary Portas report.'

Absolutely, if only more councillors understood this!

'North Somerset may have introduced a scheme in Weston,' argues Cllr Lees, 'but that is a tourist resort with totally different needs to Nailsea and other towns in the north of the district. This is a win-win situation not only for Nailsea but North Somerset too. If parking charges are introduced people will avoid paying in Nailsea and just head to out of town complexes such as Cribbs Causeway.'

If only NTC can agree the lease with NSC, they have already put aside £50,000 in their budget to pay for the maintenance and improvement of the three car parks under threat for the next two years. A fourth car park run by a town centre management group has already agreed to continue offering free parking as well if the council deal goes through. This is the just the right use of taxpayers' money—benefiting local business people and residents. Well done Nailsea and Cllr Lees!

 

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