RESIDENTS' PARKING

Introduced by Rab Smith, Programme & Policy Manager, Engineering Services, B&NES on 13 July 1999

Residents Parking has been in operation in Bath since 1987 when the card system was introduced. 1100 on-street parking spaces were designated and 820 residents purchased permits which allowed them to park in three street adjacent to their home. The Great Pulteney Street - Sydney Gardens area had no spaces reserved for residents and a two-hour limit in this scheme.

In 1997, with the formation of the Unitary Authority, which took over responsibility from Avon CC for highway management, it was decided to develop a parking strategy, covering not only residents parking but all aspects throughout the

City, and Oscar Faber were appointed consultants to carry out this work. They collected a considerable amount of data and made recommendations in their report which was accepted in March 1998. A year later, £125,000 was allocated to introduce the Outer Area Residents Parking Zone. This surrounds the centre of the City and it was decided not to introduce Residents Parking piecemeal, as recommended by the consultants, but simultaneously over the whole area to prevent displaced cars just moving to the next area. This will have a large effect on drivers, both residents, commuters and businesses. The results of the changes will be monitored and modified if necessary.

Advantages.

1) Allows residents to park within a reasonable distance of their home.

2) less commuter parking

3) less circulating traffic looking for a space

4) improved parking for shoppers

Disadvantages.

1) Cost of enforcement by wardens using penalty tickets and tow-away

2) limited number of residents permits per house

3) parking in neighbouring residential areas restricted for residents

4) Three types of permit _ residents, visitors, businesses

5) Areas out side the Zone may become affected by commuters etc.

The programme for the introduction of the scheme involves:

• carrying out a survey of all the streets in the zone to determine the capacity for safe parking; this will be done before October;

• determining the number of parked cars in the zone when the University is in session and the holiday season over;

• consulting the residents and businesses in the zone and surrounding areas;

• analysing the results and preparing a scheme with recommendations

• submitting to the PTE Committee in March 2000.

If agreed, the proposals will be advertised, as legally required, in April and any objections reported to the committee in June with a view to implementing the scheme in October 2000.

The schemes in use in two other cities, Winchester and Canterbury, have been studied and Mr Smith described and commented on them. They both have sub-zones with different regulations and charges.

Many special categories of driver or property have to be considered, e.g. doctors & nurses, guest houses, motorcyclists, residents' visitors, deliveries, multiple occupants in a building.

At much the same time as this scheme will be introduced there are other changes to the parking regulations being introduced, e.g. pay & display machines (instead of the card scheme) in the centre; `pay on foot' in car parks; decriminalised parking (see earlier report on this subject) and secure car parks, which have improved safety and security features.

A vigorous discussion followed during which it was emphasised that the consultation would probably result in revision of the area included, with residents in some parts preferring not to have residents' parking and other areas asking to be added; the need for the Park & Ride sites to be increased to accept the displaced commuters; the difficulty of finding spaces for all the cars for multi-occupancy buildings; whether houses with garages should be permitted to buy permits if their garage is not used for car storage; the effect on non-residents, such as commuters and visitors, and on residents travelling across the city to another part of the zone, and ways of recouping the cost of running the scheme.

Don Lovell