Bishopston traders raise concerns over parking zones ahead of meeting with Mayor

May 22 2013
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Traders on Gloucester Road have raised 'serious' concerns about the future of their businesses because of proposed plans for a residents' parking scheme in Bishopston.

Traders on Gloucester Road have raised 'serious' concerns about the future of their businesses because of proposed plans for a residents' parking scheme in Bishopston.

Speaking to Bishopstonvoice ahead of a meeting with Mayor George Ferguson tonight (Wednesday, May 22), business owners said they feared the implementation of the plans, announced in March, could have a detrimental impact on local traders.

Tina Lombardi, the director of Moda hairdressers on Gloucester Road, said she believed the parking scheme would be a "big nightmare".

"If my customers can't park, they're not going to come in. I don't want them going further afield to Cribbs Causeway where they're able to park for free,” she said.

"I want my customers to be able to come in and relax, and not have to worry and feel rushed for time."

Tina not only fears for her clients, but also for her 10 employees, who all drive to work. "I don't want to lose my staff as a result of the scheme," she added.

Under the mayor’s proposals, there would be 18 residents' parking zones introduced across the city within the next 18 months.

According to the BBC, more than 50,000 residents and businesses in or near central Bristol will be affected by the plan.

Also raising concern was local toyshop trader, Nigel Price. The owner of Playful Toys said he was hoping for "lots of consultation on the matter."

He added: "One of my biggest concerns is about the people who need to park to come to work."

Also located on Gloucester Road is the café and fitness venue, Bubalu. Mike Bowen, the owner of business, confirms that he has 18 instructors who teach at the fitness centre who travel to work from as far as Nailsea.

Mike estimates that he could have to pay around £800 a year for his employees to park and said: "There aren't many people in walking distance who will be able to teach the classes."

Residents' parking zones have already been introduced in parts of Bristol, including Kingsdown and Cotham, and Bishopstonvoice spoke to traders in Kingsdown about their experience of the scheme.

Giggsy, the owner of Giggsy's Barber Shop on St Michael's Hill, said he believed it was a "pointless exercise" that had affected his business, as well as others. 

"Customers I've had for many years have stopped coming here because they can't find a space. But it is quite a busy area, so we do get quite a few new people coming in."

The scheme was implemented in Kingsdown in January 2011. Giggsy has been running his business for 11 years.

He states that during the summer there are lots of empty roads because of students heading back home over these months. However, drivers are unable to park in these spaces because they do not hold a parking permit.

Jasmine, the manager of House of Flowers, which is also on St Michael's Hill, confirms that many of her customers are rushed for time when they visit.

"Many people come in saying that they need to be quick - people just aren't wanting to pay for parking."

Parking meters have been installed in the area and the first 15 minutes are free to park.