Rail commuters could be charged for parking in Backwell side roads
By Carol_Deacon | Friday, November 09, 2012, 14:33
Backwell parish councillors want commuters charged for clogging up village roads.
Train travellers warned not to leave their cars in Backwell side roads
The councilors are calling for parking restrictions to be introduced on residential roads around Nailsea and Backwell railway station ahead of the introduction of a new charging scheme.
North Somerset Council is planning to spend £700,000 on expanding Nailsea and Backwell station car park by a further 183 spaces.
But there is a price to pay as although the scheme will see the number of parking spaces increase from 120 to 303 they will all become pay and display.
The introduction of parking fees will fund the scheme and cover operating costs.
But parish councillors can't wait and are calling on highways chiefs to look at introducing restrictions on nearby roads now.
They say roads including Moor Lane, Waverley Road and Amberlands Close are already regularly gridlocked by travellers leaving their cars to catch the train and the problem will only get worse when people have to pay to park.
Parish leaders are calling for a meeting with the district council highways department to look at what measures could be introduced to stop on street parking.
Backwell Parish Council chairman Bob Taylor said: "We already have a problem with parking on residential roads around the station and this will only get worse when the charges are introduced.
"People already drive from Yatton to avoid the parking charges there and when they find the car park in Backwell is full, they just use the side roads.
"Motorists park right up to the junctions, which is very dangerous and often these residential roads are turned into single lane carriageways as a result.
"It is an accident waiting to happen.
"The issue needs to be looked at now ahead of the charges being introduced."
A number of measures have already been suggested, including the introduction of a residents' parking scheme on the affected roads and new road markings warning people not to park,
Mr Taylor added: "We could not go as far as considering double yellow lines on these roads because ultimately someone would have to enforce them,
"North Somerset initially said it would monitor the situation when the work is done to the station car park.
"But the surrounding roads are already chock a block with cars and measures need to be put in place now."
The land for the car park expansion has already been purchased by the district council and work is due to start next year.
Season tickets will be offered for regular travellers at £300 per year or £90 per quarter with off-peak travellers - after 10am and at weekends - paying £1.
People parking before 10am will have to pay £1.50 a day.
Money for the capital costs will be borrowed and paid back over 25 years at £57,178 per year.
Work on the car park expansion is expected to be completed by 2015.
Currently the car park is full by 7.30am on weekdays, deterring people from using the train for their regular commute to work as well as leaving no space for travellers who wish to travel off peak.
Many commuters have returned to their vehicles at the end of the day to find residents have left rude notes under the windscreen wipers suggesting they park elsewhere.