Thursday, September 06, 2007

Council Needs to show more imagination with Warwick Parking Problems.

I attended a public meeting at Coten End school in Warwick last night, to discuss some of the residents parking issues in the Guy Street, Cherry Street area.

Now the problem is that with the introduction of the new parking scheme there are simply not enough parking spaces for all the people living in these streets.

People living in the area disagree and last night put forward some imaginative ideas that would help address the problem, real community politics stuff, people reaching agreement amongst themselves as to how they want their streets to work.

Unfortunately the council showed less imagination and residents were met with a whole host of reasons why things could not be done, which seemed to be more down to cost and bureaucracy than anything else.

Here are two of the suggestions made at the meeting.
Residents are strongly in favour of reducing the pavement on north side of Guys Cliffe Terrace where there are no houses and is little used. This could allow the introduction of echelon parking, going a long way to resolving the problem by creating a lot of spaces and making more use of the road. An Architect who lives in the area had used his knowledge to propose a scheme that could be viable . The response that this would cost money and that there was no budget did not go down well with people who had paid for permits to park their cars.

Another resident and key campaigner on this issue, proposed a scheme in Guy St that would allow parking on both sides of the road. She drew on examples in other parts of the town where similar sizes of parking spaces and road widths had recently been drawn and that this could be put in practice in Guy Street. Again this was rejected on the basis that latest guidelines require wider spaces and that the narrower spaces in other parts of the town had been laid out in earlier times. Probably during the time when the Feudal System operated from the castle when the lord of the manor could park where the hell he liked by royal charter.

I found it a frustrating meeting, you could feel the frustration on behalf of residents who really wanted to solve this, many had put a lot of work and research into the problem and it appeared they were not being listened to.

Statements that Residents had brought this problem on themselves by owning cars (in a society that almost requires it whether we like it or not) or by living there in the first place (when even young doctors cannot afford to live in the street, let alone anywhere with a drive) met with restrained anger.

I fear the council will go back and tinker with their plan and maybe squeeze a few more spaces out.

What it needs is a bit of imagination and some of the residents’ council tax money (they all have jobs and probably pay a significant amount collectively) spending on a decent scheme as that proposed in Guys Cliffe Terrace that will go a long way towards solving this problem.

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