Are multi-storey car parks the answer?
I WANT to endorse the objections made about the increase in parking fees, which will, as Tessa Munt pointed out, simply put greater pressure on the few free spaces available on the streets.
I live in Southover, on a stretch with no off-road parking, so like other residents in the area I must park my car on the street. Sometimes I hardly like to move out for fear of not finding a space when I return.
I don’t blame other motorists for wanting a free space, even less so if the parking charges increase. Car parking facilities in Wells are woefully inadequate. Mendip council seem to want to build housing on any available square inch of land rather than using the land for parking. New city-centre housing is always built with spaces for cars, but the older houses were built long before such provision was needed. There’s also a rise in new housing estates on the outskirts; people living there are going to want to bring their cars into town, putting even more pressure on town-centre spaces.
One possible answer would be to build car parks of two or three storeys. This could be done without spoiling the appearance of the town, always providing that the council would pay for a reasonably attractive building and not just a concrete slab. Then parking permits could be issued to residents for on-street parking. Since we all pay our council tax, it’s unfair that we should be penalised for parking in the “wrong” place because someone is occupying the space outside a resident’s house.
The parking problem affects not only residents in roads like Southover; it affects the Wells economy in general. As a Cathedral volunteer, welcoming and guiding, I encourage visitors to look at other attractions in the city. Very often people sigh and say, “Sorry, we have to get back before our parking expires.” It’s easy to spend a whole day in Wells, visiting the attractions, eating and shopping, but the council apparently does not see that their parking policy is counter-productive. What do we have to do to open their eyes?