On Tuesday Marvin Rees, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Bristol, announced another key policy pledge -; that all Residents’ Parking Zones (RPZs) will be reviewed. This review will ensure that the RPZs are working for residents and businesses, and will suggest changes to make them work better. In addition, he is promising to not roll out any more RPZs, to freeze charges until 2020, to introduce free parking for blue badge holders and essential workers (such as nurses, teachers and health care visitors) and to introduce discounted permits for small businesses.
Whilst Bishopston & Ashley Down does not currently have an RPZ, it was one of the areas next slated to get one under the original plans. Therefore the freeze on new RPZs will come as welcome news to some local residents. There are others, of course, who would prefer to have an RPZ. It is Labour’s policy that we will be open to further RPZs in areas where the community, including residents and businesses, make an explicit request.
We also feel that it is vital to highlight the promise for free or discounted passes for certain groups. In Bishopston & Ashley Down we regularly meet local teachers, nurses, tradesmen, business owners and others who currently have to pay to park where they work elsewhere in the city. Our policy will reduce or remove this cost from them, allowing them to concentrate on getting their work done.
On parking more generally, we are very concerned about the decreasing amount of parking in Bishopston & Ashley Down. The review of the RPZs in neighbouring areas should help to reduce the problem somewhat, but we need to look at more ways to ensure that residents, shoppers, employees, match-goers and other visitors all have somewhere to park.
We should be strengthening and increasing the provision in the city for public transport, cycling and walking, to encourage people to not drive in the first place. Without a strong public transport network in the city we will not be able to solve the parking problems.
If more large developments are proposed, like Brunel House or the Prison, with insufficient parking then we will seek to ensure that the plans are changed to include the right balance of parking in these developments so that the local parking situation doesn’t get even worse.
Finally, we have been speaking a lot to businesses in the local area who are concerned about the effects that the existing parking restrictions have on them. We will work with the businesses and residents in the local area to try and get a parking situation that works for all in order to support Gloucester Road, Ashley Down Road, Kellaway Avenue and other streets with shops.
Overall, Labour’s parking plan for Bristol will get the city moving again in a way that is fair, representative and that promotes sustainable travel.