Cirencester ring road residents face parking charges
DRIVERS living within Cirencester's ring road will be charged to park outside their homes under a scheme that could be introduced next summer.
The Cirencester Parking Partnership (CPP), comprising town, district and county council representatives with members of Cirencester Chamber of Commerce, wants to extend residents parking schemes to all roads within the A429/A417 ring road in a bid to free-up congested streets. The cost of permits has also risen.
Currently, vehicles from outside of the town take up an estimated two-thirds of on-street spaces while car parks are only half-full on any average weekday.
The new plan would aim to encourage more commuters to use car parks, and also remove some yellow lines in the town centre to create an extra 100 parking spaces. Short-stay parking charges will also be introduced throughout the town centre.
The scheme has been drawn up in response to residents’ feedback from a survey carried out earlier this year by the CPP and is being fine-tuned following further consultation.
Chamber of Commerce, Jonathan Davies, said: "I want to see a raft of measures that will make parking better in the town – I’m not interested in anything going through that’s purely about making it more expensive to park."
Cirencester residents have criticised the cost of permits, limited to two per household, as too expensive as they will cost £80 a year and £100 for a second car – a rise of £20 each on last year.
Sally Hilliker, from Purley Road, said: "I can’t see how they can justify the figure when you think of how many people will have to pay. I don't think people realise how much it's going to cost them."
GCC parking manager Jim Daniels said residents' permits had previously been heavily subsidised but now a standard county-wide charge, reflecting the cost of the scheme and enforcement, was being phased in.
Businesses permits, which can be transferred to different vehicles, will be frozen at £250 with discounts for eco-friendly vehicles.
Early proposals are for area-specific permits for three separate zones in the town – north, south and central.
The consultation is ongoing and any residents and businesses that have not yet commented have still got the chance to view the plans online and raise concerns.
A GCC spokesman said: "The county council will be looking for significant local support before it considers introducing any changes."
To see the proposals in full, visit gloucestershire.gov.uk/parking for details.