‘Furious’ is how I’d describe those who have contacted me or attended my drop-in surgeries regarding the Council’s proposed residents parking permit regime.
I agree that there is a need to discourage commuter parking in residential streets. However, the current proposals are not the solution.
At an MPs’ meeting with Council Leader John Pollard, we argued that the proposed charges for residents to park in their street was far too high (£200 for two cars – now changed to £125 in the recent proposal).
This is still too much when low wages are a reality for many and cars are a necessity. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that residents will be able to park despite purchasing a permit and where are adult children expected to park when they live with mum and dad because of the shortage of affordable housing? This has not been properly thought through and should be abandoned.
The best people to consider how we address parking are locally elected councillors who live in our towns and understand the problem. Alternatively Cornwall Council could resource the Neighbourhood Planning Team to include parking in the Neighbourhood Plan which requires the approval of residents. This is not the first time the council has sought to address on-street parking. In 2006 the then County Council introduced similar residents permit proposals. As a District Councillor I campaigned against the proposals and worked with District Council Officers to provide a very attractive low-cost season ticket for people who came into town to work. I’m sure if this was reintroduced most commuters would buy the season ticket rather than use time driving around residential streets – especially if a season ticket was valid in other Cornwall Council car parks. This is worth considering if concern about parking in residential areas is genuine.
In a recent survey I organised regarding on-street parking 58.5% agreed that there is a need to address parking issues in Penzance & Newlyn. 30.6% of those who responded would support a scheme which would prevent non-residents from parking in their street whilst 36% did not. A large number called for reduced car parking charges and for overnight parking in car parks to be free.