Calls for free parking in Keynsham rejected

Published on: 12 Oct 2012

Calls for free parking in Keynsham rejected

Hopes that free short-stay parking will be introduced in Keynsham have been dashed.

The proposals have been rejected by B&NES Council's ruling Lib Dems it was revealed after the Cabinet was questioned on its progress following its pledge to look into the idea.

Councillor Roger Symonds, Cabinet Member for Transport, said  he had decided not to implement free parking, scrapping the current 40p charge for two hours, "based on the cost and the impact on the budget".

The news was branded a "slap in the face" for the town's residents by local Conservative councillors who had backed calls from the public and traders to stop charging for parking.

Keynsham councillor Marie Longstaff (Cons, Keynsham East), who moved the Council motion calling for the Cabinet to look into creating more free short-stay parking in Keynsham, said: “This refusal to implement free short-stay parking is a real slap in the face for our town’s residents and traders by the Lib Dems. 
"Government-backed studies into supporting local High Streets have called on councils to implement free parking, and our proposal had the backing of the majority of councillors in B&NES, so we’re naturally bitterly disappointed.

“We proposed making part of Ashton Way car park charged long-stay parking in order to help fund free short-stay parking in the remainder of the car park.  This would make shopping trips cheaper and easier for local residents, and provide a boost to local traders in our town.  We will not drop our arguments in favour of free parking in Keynsham.”

It was  confirmed that 17 free 30-minute spaces would be created at Ashton Way car park to replace the existing free parking bays which will be lost as part of the civic centre demolition.

Councillor Charles Gerrish (Cons, Keynsham North) said: “The Lib Dems have tried to trumpet the fact that a small number of free 30-minute spaces will be created at Ashton Way car park.  But these are simply replacing what has already existed at the Civic Centre for years, and 30 minutes is not really long enough for a shopping trip.  This is not what traders have been calling for in Keynsham, and the council should be going further.”

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