Traffic and parking hell: the fightback begins
A group of residents living in St Andrews and part of Bishopston have been campaigning for some time about the growing problems of traffic density and parking in their neighbourhood. The Bishopston and St. Andrews Traffic and Parking Group (BOSA) are concerned not just about these central issues but also about the effects that result from the increased volume of vehicles in their streets. This includes the safety of pedestrians and cyclists; pollution from exhaust fumes as well as from traffic noise; access for emergency and service vehicles; and the detriment to the general quality of life in these often narrow and community friendly streets.
The development of resident parking schemes (RPS) in the neighbouring areas has also affected the quality of life in Bishopston and St. Andrews. Commuters now often choose to park in areas adjoining those RPSs, as do residents parking their additional vehicles, including large leisure and commercial vans.
Local resident, Kay, is clear about the problems she experiences each week: “Since the declaration of RPSs in adjoining neighbourhoods, we have experienced a steady increase in parking by people from outside our area and this sometimes leads to aggressive competition for parking spaces as well as a general increase in traffic on our narrow streets. Some people drive too fast which increases the risks for pedestrians, particularly for young children, which all adds to the stress of living here – and sometimes emergency vehicles can’t get through. Some people we know are actually thinking of moving away because of the stress and anxiety caused by traffic and parking.”
In May 2018 MP Thangam Debbonaire hosted a public meeting for residents at which nearly 70 per cent of those attending supported the introduction of an RPS but progress since that meeting has been slow due to the Mayor’s manifesto commitment not to introduce more RPSs unless there is ‘overwhelming support’.
Although there are signs that the council is now coming around to the idea that existing RPSs are popular, BOSA has decided to gauge public opinion by launching its own survey. This will be delivered to over 2,000 households in early October and there will also be an option to complete this on-line. The survey will be anonymous and the results will be available in early December.
BOSA can be contacted on Facebook or through their web site at bosatrafficparking.org.uk