Council refuses Keynsham free parking proposal

Bath and North East Somerset Council has rejected calls to look into the possibility of introducing free short-stay parking in Keynsham.

Despite increasing calls from local councillors and traders in the town, the authority’s Liberal Democrat Cabinet has refused a request to consider a proposal to introduce free short-stay parking in the town, funded by creating more long-stay.


The proposal was put to the council by Conservative Councillors at a recent public Cabinet meeting.  However, in response to the request to look into the idea, Liberal Democrat Cabinet Member for Transport Cllr Roger Symonds simply stated that ‘The implementation of free parking in Keynsham is not currently being considered during the redevelopment of the town centre’.  The council did, however, say that it is considering reviewing the length of stay in the town’s car parks during the town centre construction work.


Conservative councillors, who have backed calls for free short-stay parking, have reacted with anger to the council’s response.  Cllr Tim Warren, Conservative Transport spokesman on B&NES, said:


“We put a reasonable proposal to the council which would enable some free short-stay parking to be created at Ashton Way car park.  But the Liberal Democrat Cabinet has point-blank refused to even look into the idea. 


“Conservatives have proposed that part of Ashton Way is made chargeable long-stay in order to help fund free short-stay parking in the rest of the car park, on a trial basis during the construction of the new town centre.  This would help the High Street and create more much-needed long-stay parking.  It’s quite frankly incomprehensible that the Lib Dems won’t even consider this idea.”


Keynsham councillor Kate Simmons (Cons, Keynsham South) has urged local residents and traders to increase pressure on the council to look into the proposal.  He added:


“Creating free short-stay parking is something backed by local residents, businesses, shop-owners, the Town Council and Keynsham B&NES councillors.  So for the Lib Dems to simply ignore these calls shows just how out of touch they are with the needs of Keynsham.  But we must not let this matter lie.  What we need now is for as many local businesses and residents as possible to write to B&NES and increase pressure on them to agree to this request.”


To support calls for free short-stay parking in B&NES, residents can either write to the council’s Parking Services department at PO Box 122, High Street, Keynsham, BS31 9AE.