By Ross Logan
Sunday, April 1, 2012
A ROW over parking restrictions looks set to break out yet again in Welwyn.
After last year’s debacle over plans to charge for car parks, Welwyn Hatfield Council is now consulting over proposals to introduce double yellow lines and residents’ parking schemes in several locations across the village.
But residents, councillors and businesses are furious with the council, for only notifying a small section of villagers, instead of making the scheme more public.
Parish councillor Bill Morris blasted the authority for sending out letters claiming it was working “in partnership” with Welwyn Parish Council on the scheme.
“The public consultation process currently in operation is fragmented with residents not seeing the totality of the proposals,” he said.
“This is unreasonable when the total area in which most of these proposals apply is less than 400 sq m. In Welwyn we walk or drive from one end of our village to the other – to shop, as a through route or socially; why weren’t more people consulted or the full picture not been presented to all?
“The approach is probably compliant with the letter of the law but it is certainly contrary to logic.
“Why have residents been told that these proposals have been agreed with the parish council?
“The implication is that the parish council has seen and agreed all the proposals in advance and is working hand-in-glove with them – it most emphatically is not.”
Under the scheme, double yellow lines would be put in High Street, Church Street, Mill Lane, Lockleys Drive, School Lane and Hertford Road.
A residents’ parking scheme would also be introduced in Mimram Road, as well as double yellow lines.
The proposals come after the council’s plans to charge for car parks in Lockleys Drive and High Street were defeated last year following an unprecendented backlash from villagers.
A Welwyn Hatfield Council spokeswoman said: “Welwyn Hatfield Council has just completed a consultation regarding the introduction of additional on street parking restrictions, with residents in a number of locations where parking problems have been seen as an issue either for residents, businesses or service providers.
“The Welwyn Parish Plan 2008 identified a need for change in the village parking arrangements.
“A joint parking study was carried out by Welwyn Parish Council, Hertfordshire Highways and the borough council. In addition to the parking study, Parking Services proposals were reported to the Cabinet Housing and Planning Panel on August 18, 2011.
“The consultation letters were sent out to survey the opinion of the residents.
“If the majority of residents vote against the proposed Resident Permit Parking Schemes (RPPS) then RPPS will not be implemented.”