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Council in 'no rush' to bring in parking charges in towns

By The Bristol Post  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

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Controversial plans to introduce parking charges in Portishead, Clevedon and Nailsea are expected to go before councillors in the new year.

A working party was set up earlier this year to investigate the possibility of introducing parking charges in car parks and streets in the three towns.

The working party is due to make a recommendation to the authority’s Strategic Planning and Economic Development (SPED) panel on where charges could be implemented. However a final decision on the implementation of any scheme lies with North Somerset Council’s executive.

It had been hoped a recommendation would go before the panel this month, but the report was deferred while the working party sought more information. Working party chairman, Councillor Clive Webb, said the majority of the additional information had now been received.

He added that he hoped a recommendation would go to the SPED panel in the new year. Mr Webb said: “No decision has been made at the present time. The working party felt additional information was needed and we have now received most of the information to enable us to make an informed decision.”

Mr Webb said the working party was also waiting to see how the introduction of on street parking charges on 28 streets in Weston-super-Mare town centre was working before making a decision on introducing a similar scheme in the north of the district.

Council chiefs introduced the scheme in Weston following concerns that motorists are flouting existing parking restrictions by leaving cars in timed bays for longer than allowed.

Mr Webb added: “We are in no rush to introduce any scheme in the north of the district.

“We want to see how the new parking regime works in Weston before making any recommendations for other towns.”

Mr Webb added that there were no moves to introduce ‘blanket charging’ across the north of the district and each town was being considered independently of each other

News of the possibility of parking charges has been greeted with horror by local traders, councillors and community groups saying it will have a devastating impact on business and force shoppers to out of town complexes where parking is free.

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