Parking scheme plans shelved

Ian Bailey from Bond Street.
Ian Bailey from Bond Street.

Plans for a controversial new residents’ parking scheme in the Moorgate area of Lancaster have been shelved by the county council after homeowners expressed their anger at the proposals.

Highways authority Lancashire County Council polled 1,150 homes in Moorgate over a parking scheme which could have incorporated measures such as extra double yellow lines, parking bays and residents’ only parking permits costing £45 a year.

Many residents in Park Road, Park Avenue, Parker Street, Davidson Road, Hartington Road and Bond Street said they did not want a scheme as they had no problem with commuter parking and the scheme would not have guaranteed them a parking spot in their own street.

Of those who responded, 67.12 per cent of residents said they wanted ‘no change’ to the current parking provisions, while 13.56 per cent wanted a scheme with marked bays and 19.32 per cent wanted a sign only residents’ parking scheme.

Ian Welsby, highways manager for Lancaster, said: “We’ve recently written to around 1,150 residents in the Moorgate area who were consulted on proposals for a residents’ parking scheme to let them know the outcome, which is that the majority want no change to the current arrangements.

“It had been agreed at a meeting with the local MP and residents’ representatives in July that we find a democratic way to ensure the final decision reflected the views of the majority of residents within Moorgate, many of whom had very different views on the scheme depending on the sub-area they live in.

“The original scheme was identified by Lancaster City Council in 2004, and subsequently passed to the county council who made various changes to improve the proposal in an attempt to relieve some of the pressures being experienced by residents parking in the Moorgate area.”

One of the chief opponents of the plan – businessman Ian Bailey who operates the city’s Runner’s Shop – was relieved with the decision.

“I feel the residents have made the right decision,” he said.

“The county council and the Green party were suggesting there was a real problem with parking when in fact there isn’t.”

Mr Bailey added that £24,000 had been spent on a second consultation period earlier this year, despite residents statingg in 2004 that they didn’t want a parking scheme.

“It’s a disgusting waste of tax payers’ money,” he said.

The idea of a residents’ parking zone was largely met with resistance from those concerned - principally due to fears of a loss of parking.

A consultation with residents earlier this year resuloted in 214 of the 372 who took part being against the idea, with 158 in favour.

Lancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw had backed the residents’ views.