By now, almost everyone will know that car-parking charges are increasing and that for the first time Mendip District Council will be introducing a Sunday charge in all of their car parks including Frome. Wiltshire and other authorities will soon follow suit so motorists will see the cost of parking in most public car parks rise. Car parks generate a lot of revenue for local authorities. Removal of Government grants will see local authorities ‘squeeze their assets’ even further, so expect more price rises in the next few years.
The lack of on street parking is also a real problem in Frome. There are more yellow lines, lane restrictions and less free parking areas – some residents are calling for parking permits. Frome Town Council, in partnership with Mendip have removed eleven spaces in the centre of town to create a new public space at the Boyles Cross. Cars are getting bigger and new housing estates seem to have fewer parking spaces. Parking on pavements causes obstructions for pedestrians. I could go on.
Car share schemes, public transport, better cycling and walking facilities offer some hope. There are no easy solutions but perhaps what we need is a proper sustainable transport strategy across the region and a long-term plan that looks carefully into the future, rather than a simple imposition of higher charges as proposed by Mendip. Opinions differ. What would you do to improve the parking problem?
To help find some answers a parking event will take place on the 4th of June, 7pm at Frome Town Hall. Members of the public will have the opportunity to discuss general parking issues. FTC will use the feedback to produce recommendations to lobby County and Mendip. Instead of muttering to yourself – come along. But don’t bring your car as parking is limited!