Support has been given to calls for free short-stay parking to be provided in Keynsham.
Conservative councillors have given their backing to a campaign by traders in the town for B&NES Council to introduce two-hours of free parking at the town’s Ashton Way car park.
Conservatives have said the council should look into allowing long-stay parking at a chargeable rate in part of Ashton Way car park in order to fund two hours of free parking in the other half of the car park. Conservatives have argued that this could enable free short-stay parking to support High Street trade whilst also helping relieve pressure on nearby residential roads which are used for longer parking during the day.
The proposals would be trialled whilst the redevelopment of the town centre takes place in order to support local shops during the construction work. If the change proved successful, it could then be implemented on a permanent basis.
However, Liberal Democrat-run B&NES Council has so far said it would not be willing to introduce free parking in Keynsham.
Cllr Tim Warren, the Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport on Bath and North East Somerset Council, said:
“A period of free short-stay parking is something which local businesses are calling for to help support Keynsham High Street, and this is a campaign we are happy to give our backing to.
“It’s important for the council to look at what action it can take to support local traders and residents in Keynsham, particularly during the construction of the new town centre. So it’s disappointing that B&NES has so far refused to even consider the possibility.
“We think the Council should look into making part of Ashton Way a chargeable long-stay car park to help fund two hours of free parking in the other half of the car park. This would help support the High Street as well as relieve some of the pressure on both the Tesco car park and nearby residential roads. We will be pressing B&NES to look into this further with a view to running a trial during the construction of the new town centre.”
Keynsham councillor Brian Simmons (Cons, Keynsham North) added:
“Giving a period of free parking in Keynsham would be a real help to Keynsham High Street during the construction of the new town centre and I know this is something which all Keynsham councillors would support. The Tesco car park has clearly helped the situation a bit, but now that it has had time to bed-down and its impact better understood, it’s clear that Ashton Way is often now under-utilised, making this this the perfect time to look at making part of Ashton Way long-stay, whereas before this was not feasible.”