Neighbours unite around traffic and parking issues

April 29 2018
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As the Gloucester Road has grown as a shopping destination and the adjoining residential areas have become more popular, the combined pressure of intense traffic use and the competition for parking between residents, shoppers, tradespeople and commuters has become critical.

The situation for residents wishing to park is sometimes intolerable, leading to stress, anger, a reduction in road safety and a general decline in the amenity of the area and in the quality of life for all.

Paul Bullivant from Bishopston and St Andrews Traffic and Parking Group said: “This also seriously compromises the safety of pedestrians, particularly on routes taken by children walking to local schools. It has sometimes prevented service vehicles from using our streets, including fire engines attending emergencies - a potentially disastrous situation.”

The frustration of many local residents was summed up by one living on North Road:

"There has been a huge increase in the number of long stay vehicles parked in our neighbourhood because we live in one of the last remaining unrestricted parking areas near the Gloucester Road. Parking density is now so bad that it is often impossible to walk between parked cars and parents can't cross between cars with their pushchairs. There is regular damage to cars - one neighbour's car has been damaged over nine times in 18 months. 

“Last year an ambulance was unable to transfer a patient on a stretcher from their home. Typical long stay parkers include commuters, residents from other RPS areas with second and third vehicles and camper vans so this doesn't leave much parking for the shoppers! 

“Increasingly residents are having to deal with speeding vehicles using North Road as a 'rat run' as well as the road rage that results from the frustration of the traffic congestion and competition for limited parking."

The situation in Elton Road on the other side of Gloucester Road is equally bad as one resident explains: 

"Since restricted parking has been introduced in surrounding areas, increased commuter parking has reached unsustainable levels. Despite yellow lines and wardens ticketing, badly parked cars are blocking pavements and causing hazards at junctions. Elton Road has increasingly become a 'rat run' with some cars sometimes speeding through at up to 40mph so cars get damaged on a regular basis. Lorries trying to navigate the road get stuck and recently a fire engine could not get through in an emergency. It can be dangerous just crossing the street or negotiating pavement obstacles, especially for people with buggies or wheelchairs and young children on their way to school." 

Other parking and traffic problems in the wider neighbourhood include the long term parking of unoccupied caravans and camper vans. The parking of vehicles close to the junctions of our generally narrow roads is also a danger as it reduces visibility and compromises safety for other road users including cyclists and pedestrians.

A number of individuals have been lobbying about these issues for over two years but now a united campaign coalition, 

The Bishopston and St. Andrews Traffic and Parking Group  has been established to address these problems. Although it will take many months, if not years, to resolve these growing problems - and only following thorough consultation with all local residents - the group believes that the only sustainable solution will be the establishment of a Residents Parking Scheme in the Bishopston and St. Andrews Area. 

Thanks to the cross-party work of a number of local Councillors, local MP Thangam Debbonaire will be hosting a meeting to discuss these issues and possible solutions. The meeting will take place on Saturday May 12 at  11am at King's Centre, 16-18 King Square, BS2 8AZ.

A leaflet with a survey form will soon be delivered to all households in the neighbourhood. If you are concerned about these issues please complete the survey and come to the meeting. You can also complete an online petition on the Bristol City Council epetition page at http:bit.ly/2sAO8MG  

If you are interested in getting involved or just want to know about the activities of the group you can also find the group's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/198736640721158 or contact us for more information at bishopstonstandrewstpgroup@gmail.com