Sunday, 10 November 2013

Residents Parking

A few days ago, I got a questionnaire from Powys County Council through my door, on the subject of residents' parking permits. Since then, I have had two more leaflets. One is anonymous, but very firmly opposed to the scheme and the other is from CRAP (and has a contact phone number).
I actually sent my form back before these two leaflets arrived. I'm neutral on the whole matter, as I can't drive and have no vehicle. I do see parking problems, but they don't generally affect me. So on the form I said I wouldn't be buying a permit for that reason, and in the notes I added that I had seen parking permits introduced elsewhere in the country, and seen the resentment that was caused when people had to pay for something that had previously been free.
It's not going to be cheap, either. As the anonymous leaflet points out, it will start at £65 a year. There is also a permit for the main car park which currently stands at £150 a year, and since only one permit per household is being offered, a household with two cars would need one of those as well. In fact, a household might need a car park permit for both cars, because a permit for the street is no guarantee that a space will be available when they need it - which would work out at £365 a year. They also point out that, once the scheme is in place, it is easy for the County Council to put the fees up - they say, for instance, that fees have risen by 400% in Bristol, and even more in other areas, with very little residents could do about it. They are also concerned about the effect that the parking issues could have on local shops.
The CRAP leaflet breaks down the area of Hay street by street, in most cases recommending that residents support the scheme, but add on the form that the charges are far too expensive. The exception is for Lion Street and Heol-y-Dwr. Here they suggest: "SUPPORT THIS PROPOSAL and you will enjoy less pressure on your current parking and extra residents' parking outside the Drill Hall. REJECT THE PROPOSAL and cars belonging to residents, particularly those owning more than one vehicle; visitors' cars and those owned by employees of local businesses, driven out of restricted areas will put even more pressure on the parking spaces available to you."
CRAP also says, more generally: "The proposals are far from ideal and the permit cost iniquitous BUT this is the last opportunity to get residents' parking for Hay and as it is a trial, some details can be sorted out later.
Powys County Council needs more than 50% approval for the scheme to go ahead.

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