FOLLOWING reports of angry motorists visiting, working or shopping in the city centre criticising the newly created Regent Street Zone H Residents’ Parking Scheme, it’s time for some residents’ views.
Living in the Regent Street area with unregulated parking, members of my family and neighbours have competed for parking space with such visitors, workers, LGGS sixth-formers and shoppers on weekdays for over 30 years.
Often we postponed visiting elderly relatives, making hospital visits or doing supermarket shopping to evenings or Sundays – the only times to ensure parking space near home on our return.
Since February we can at last unload shopping or load a child’s pram on our street on weekday day times. This has been achieved by discussions and consultations lasting over 10 years through city and county councils.
Each Zone H household may buy only one annual £40 permit – unlike Brook Street and Dallas Road Zones where households may buy two permits; here households with two cars must buy extra visitors’ permits.
Despite fuel costs, our ward has growing car ownership; many households already have two cars, and demands for a second annual permit in Zone H are likely to increase.
Daily life patterns of individuals vary widely: our neighbours include retirement pensioners, full-time parents, full and part-time workers, evening and night workers, full and part-time students, voluntary workers and NHS and social services staff working irregular hours.
Applying a stereotyped working day approach to residents’ parking would be irrational. Complaints about day time empty parking places being an under used resource to be made available to non-residents are ill-informed and deserve firm rejection by council officers and councillors.
But LGGS and Dallas Road School parents need occasional short-term parking beyond that offered in Dallas Road car park. Maybe create up-to-one-hour pay-and-display day time parking for several cars at the north end of Regent Street.
With that single exception, most residents think it would be short-sighted, misguided and downright wrong to extend pay-and-display parking into any other part of Zone H.
The only permissible call on the limited spare Zone H parking capacity should be from neighbouring Queen Street Zone, with whose residents it would be reasonable to share Lindow Street on-street parking.