Battle for free parking in Keynsham 'is not over'

November 09 2012

Politics should not hit the High Street, says a Keynsham business leader, after B&NES Council’s Cabinet rejected a proposal for free parking in the town.

Battle for free parking in Keynsham 'is not over'

Politics should not hit the High Street, says a Keynsham business leader, after B&NES Council’s Cabinet rejected a proposal for free parking in the town.

Following a question from Keynsham councillor Charles Gerrish, transport leader Councillor Roger Symonds revealed the plan, which was backed by Conservative and Labour councillors, had been thrown out because it was not possible to make it “cost-neutral”.

The town’s traders have long campaigned to see parking fees axed, which they say would help bring more shoppers onto the High Street.

Chairman of Keynsham’s Chamber of Commerce Lynn Young said it felt like the town was being ignored.

She said: “Politics should not hit the High Street. There is a strong feeling we are being ignored in Keynsham. Free parking for two hours is extremely important for us and we will go on until we get it.”

It was confirmed that 17 free 30-minute parking bays would be created at Ashton Way to replace those lost at the civic centre.

Councillor Marie Longstaff, who moved the council motion to look into free parking, 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.”  

She added: “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.”