'Traders across city must stick together on parking zones'

August 06 2013

Despite plans being halted for a residents’ parking scheme in Bishopston, locals are still raising serious concerns about the effects of the zones elsewhere.

Despite plans being halted for a residents’ parking scheme in Bishopston, locals are still raising serious concerns about the effects of the zones elsewhere.

At the end of June, Mayor George Ferguson gave his official approval for parking zones across a large part of Bristol, but decided to halt the process in Bishopston until after a “thorough review”.

The scheme will be going ahead in Cotham North, Clifton, Redland, St Pauls, Easton, St Philips and Bower Ashton. However, changes to the outer boundary could be made in Redland, with streets to the north-west of Coldharbour Road being excluded from the zone.

Janet Haigh, owner of Heart Space Studios on Coldharbour Road, claims that the parking scheme in Redland will create huge difficulties for her business, which she has been running for three years. 

“My objection is that the government are trying to make small businesses grow and this scheme is flying in the face of what [the government] are aiming to do,” she said.
Ms Haigh runs regular craft workshops at her studio, where attendees often bring along their own sewing machines and materials.

“People who come along to my workshops need their cars,” she said. “Do I consider doing workshops at the weekend, or in the evenings? I don’t want my sessions to be based around a parking scheme. There’s no provision for long-term parking.”

Ms Haigh believes that Coldharbour Road needs “special attention”, adding: “The local traders in the area have been ignored, because we don't fit in with the sweeping ‘one size fits all’ plan.”

Tom Murray, owner of Gloucester Road butchers T & P A Murray, is concerned that the parking scheme in Redland will have a knock-on effect on Bishopston.

“Redland is very closely linked with Bishopston, so all the traffic will end up moving up this way.

“It was certainly worth challenging George Ferguson because [the scheme] has been stopped in Bishopston for a period of time –  it’s good it’s being re-looked at,” he said. “But it’s just been put on the back burner and I reckon it will rear its head in the future – it wasn’t a categorical ‘no’.”

Mr Murray suggests that there needs to be an independent traders’ association in Bristol, which is made up of traders from across the city, including those on Gloucester Road, Coldharbour Road and Zetland Road.

“Although the scheme has been halted for Bishopston, we should still be supporting traders from other streets – we need to all stick together.”

Michael Owen, a Redland resident who was behind the petition to halt the extension of the residents’ parking zones, claims that it was “sad” to see the mayor go ahead with his plans.

He said he believed that the scheme fails to address issues associated with commuting and that it “punishes” residents.

“George Ferguson’s profoundly divisive policy is based on blind ideology, dubious analysis and incoherent evaluation,” claims Mr Owen, “and the
public’s questions were rarely answered.”

Among a number of changes to the original proposal, Bristol City Council confirms there will also be an additional stage of consultation for zones not in the early phases of the scheme, whereby every resident and business will receive a letter and feedback form.Exhibitions and public meetings will also take place.

Due to additional consultation, the amended scheme will be delivered by May 2015. Each permit zone will also be given a six-month review where residents and businesses will be able to give feedback.