Keep commuter parking out of Bath city centre, says residents' associations chief
The leader of Bath's residents' associations says action is needed to get more commuter parking out of the city centre.
The Federation of Bath Residents' Associations has welcomed a survey which has been sent to more than 21,000 families and 2,000 businesses asking for views on how easy it is to park in Bath.
Council chiefs are keen to compile a snapshot of the city's travel and parking habits as they look at the future of residents' parking zones, city centre parking and facilities for cyclists.
FoBRA chairman Henry Brown – whose umbrella body represents 4,000 residents – said Bath and North East Somerset Council needed to get traffic out of the city.
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"We welcome the consultation, and hope the council will use the responses to draw up a strategy for parking in Bath, which has been long delayed.
"There is already too much traffic in Bath, and parking in the centre tends to draw more cars in. The solutions are to expand the park and rides, build a new one to the east as soon as possible, and make public transport more attractive and affordable.
"Decisions on parking have to provide a fair deal for residents in all parts of Bath."
The council is expanding its park and ride sites at Odd Down, Newbridge and Lansdown, but has scrapped plans for a new site at Bathampton Meadows while it looks for an alternative location.
Andrew Hunt, who lives in Bear Flat, says he is frustrated with the system in his area: "The parking in Bath is quite good for a city with limited space. However, all the commuters are now parking in Bear Flat because it's free. Residents' parking should be put across the city fairly, not just on the whim of the council."
Another resident of Bear Flat, who did not want to be named, agreed: "Shakespeare Avenue and Kipling Avenue are definitely the worst. It's one of the few places which don't have a permit.
"It would definitely help with congestion, and make it quieter here."
And people in existing residents' parking areas say they have no problem with paying for permits to park in a convenient space next to their home.
Anne Garbutt, who lives in Bathwick, said: "I can always get a convenient space, plus it's a quick walk into town. I like that you can always get a permit for visitors quickly from the council office."
Detailed questionnaires have gone out in areas where residents' parking already operates, with people asked to assess the convenience of finding a space near their home, the efficiency of council enforcement and whether there are regular problems with access for emergency vehicles.
People can also fill in the surveys at www.bathnes.gov.uk/parking.