‘Let’s make Glos Rd parking better for shoppers’

March 24 2016
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‘Let’s make Glos Rd parking better for shoppers’

GLOUCESTER Road traders are campaigning for additional parking on one of Bristol’s most loved high streets.

The petition, which has almost 80 online signatures, has been proposed to the council by Dr Jon Rogers, Lib Dem community campaigner for Ashley ward and candidate for Mayor.

He said: “Traders have said that parking is difficult and trade drops off at 4:30pm and the street was almost empty.

We realised that an old idea of ‘tidal parking’ might be useful. We need to make sure that it is safe for cyclists and it does not interfere with the buses either.”

The proposal would allow shortstay parking on the outbound side in the morning between 7:30am 9: 30am and on the inbound side in the evening between 4:30pm6: 30pm.

Dan Stern, owner of The Fish Shop, said: “Small businesses need passing trade as well as local foot traffic. To get those shoppers we need parking spaces.

“For many years locally we have seen parking restricted with the removal of the old swimming baths car park, the imposition of bus lane clearways and the soon to be introduced RPS.

“Politicians claim to support local independent traders, but all these things have done the opposite.”

David Jones, the director of Gloucester Road Business Improvement District, said: “We need to maximize the trading potential on Gloucester Road for the independent traders who have all elected to be here.”

The petition will be submitted after the elections. People working and shopping on Gloucester Road also mentioned that parking in the neighbouring streets is impossible due to commuters and that they don’t see buses using the lane very often either.

The most recent figures for annual parking fines listed Gloucester Road in Britain’s top

ten worst streets for parking, raking in £87,000, something that Dawn Clode, Vice Chair of Gloucester Road Business Improvement District feels strongly about.

“It’s Bristol City’s cash cow, especially between 4.30pm and 6.30pm. It doesn’t improve the traffic it’s a really stupid thing,” Dawn said. 

Michael O’Keefe, who owns the Dry Cleaners since 1999, said it has been a persisting issue going back to the introduction of the bus lane on Gloucester Road.

He explained: “There is no other public parking than the road. It makes sense to allow parking at least on the other side of the road in the times when people have time for shopping.”

Andy Jessep, the coowner of The Black Sheep vegetarian restaurant on Gloucester Road, finds it very difficult to unload vans with ingredients for the kitchen.

He said: “I‘ve spent so much money for the tickets. The parking here is crazy and people can hardly understand the signs as well. Customers keep asking us about the parking all the time.”

Councillors are taking note of the problems that the parking restrictions cause. Redland councillor, Fi Hance responded: “This petition illustrates the difficulties of balancing the needs of traders, local residents, cyclists and commuters. We’ve been approached by those who passionately feel that parking provision is of overriding importance and also by those who are very worried about the impact such a move would have on cyclists. In the meantime, we’ve asked highways to let us know whether such a proposal is viable at all so that we have as full a picture as possible.”

If you would like to support Gloucester Road local traders you can find the petition on the council website in the section, Online Petitions, under ‘Improved shopper parking on
the Gloucester Road’.