Residents have been contacting all candidates across all the political parties who are standing in the May local elections – councillor, mayoral, West of England mayor and police & crime commissioner – to seek their commitment – if elected – to resolving the growing problem of unregulated, unenforced and unsafe parking in our area. Pavement parking, parking across dropped kerbs and street corners, and parking on double yellow lines, make it difficult for parents with buggies, people with mobility and sensory impairments and wheelchair users to navigate some streets in our area. Increasingly they have to resort to venturing out into the road to get by. BOSA said that our streets are less safe as a result of Bristol Council failing to address such traffic and parking problems through schemes like Residents’ Parking Zones (RPZ).
We have heard from several candidates. Many have said that they share our worries to one degree or another and that they would commit to doing something about the problems we have highlighted. Some of their comments include –
- I share your frustration and want to tackle the problem … I have supported resident parking zones since the mid 1990s (Stephen Williams, LibDem Candidate for West of England Mayor)
- I would commit to working with your community to seek improvements … Give me a call after the election, if I am voted in! (Alastair Watson, Conservative Candidate for Bristol Mayor)
- I am in absolute agreement with you. Pavements are for people and double yellow lines are there to show where it is unsafe to park … I am keen to support local residents such as yourself to help identify where the best areas for new RPZ’s would be (Sandy Hore-Ruthven, Green Party Candidate for Bristol Mayor)
- This is an important issue. I am very happy to commit to working with the council to seek to resolve this if elected (John Smith, Independent Candidate for Police & Crime Commissioner)
- I share your frustration with this issue that is a significant problem across the city and region (Samuel Williams, Conservative Candidate for West of England Mayor)
- I am absolutely committed to tackling unregulated and unsafe parking in the BS6 area (Dan Norris, West of England Metro Mayor Labour Candidate)
- I also live in BS6, and know of which you speak, it’s horrendous … Our roads are being used as unofficial park and rides – I am definitely committed to addressing the issue. (Caroline Gooch, LibDem Candidate for Mayor of Bristol)
In addition, BOSA talked with Cllr Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Transport at Bristol City Council and we have issued the following statement about this meeting –
Cllr Dudd listened to our views and, while he was able to give us some hope about the possibility of a low traffic neighbourhood in the future, he suggested this area would not be one of the two pilots next year and that traffic projects tend to be slow and dependent on additional funding, which is disappointing. He did suggest that there was some opportunity to take swifter action on junction protection and a consultation on a possible extension to the RPZ scheme in a few streets bordering the Redland zone. However he was unable to confirm a date or a budget to start this work. We indicated that BOSA has been campaigning for solutions to our worsening traffic and parking problems for some years now and the very slow and largely absent response by the City Council has been immensely disappointing.
While BOSA welcomes candidates’ aspirations, we will be making sure that whoever is elected back up their promises with specific, detailed and timely action. Residents in the area, already suffering from being wedged between residents’ parking schemes, and worried that the forthcoming Clean Air Zone will mean even more commuter parking in our overcrowded streets, do not need more good intentions – we’ve waited long enough for the problems to be solved.