Conservative councillors have called upon Bath and North East Somerset Council to conduct an urgent review of new parking charges recently introduced at Bath’s Royal Victoria Park.
The calls come amid mounting concern that residents are being deterred from visiting the park due to the introduction of new car parking charges, which were brought in by the Council in June.
Businesses in the area have reported a drop in trade since the introduction of parking charges, and a number of park users have said that the two-hours’ maximum stay which governs most of the parking spaces is not long enough to use many of the park’s facilities.
Conservatives have said that the Liberal Democrat-run Council should take urgent action to respond to the concerns raised by local residents and businesses. They are calling on B&NES to go back to the drawing board and consult on alternative proposals which have a less damaging impact on park users.
Conservative Shadow Transport spokesman, Cllr Anthony Clarke, has written to the authority’s Cabinet Member for Transport asking that the review is undertaken as a matter of urgency.
Cllr Clarke (Cons, Lansdown) said:
“The new parking charges at Victoria Park were not adequately consulted on or properly thought through. As a result, it has now become clear that they are having a detrimental impact on people using the park as well as a knock-on effect on local businesses in the area.
“Victoria Park is a fantastic asset to our city, and residents throughout Bath should feel free and able to visit and enjoy it. Many people feel it is unfair to have to pay for this privilege.
“The start of the summer holidays should hopefully result in more families visiting the park over coming weeks. But this won’t resolve the issue long-term.
“Some parking restrictions are needed to ensure that spaces are taken by those wanting to use the park rather than commuters, but the draconian measures the Lib Dems have put in place are having a damaging effect.
“We are therefore urging B&NES to undertake an urgent review of these new charges. In particular the Council should review whether a two-hour maximum stay is too restrictive and look into the possibility of removing charges for short stays.”