Welwyn villagers start new parking petition
PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 August 2012
WELWYN residents have launched another challenge against fresh plans to put parking restrictions into their village.
Welwyn Hatfield Council wants to introduce a resident parking permit scheme (RPPS) into Prospect Place, which would see parking restricted to permit holders only between Monday and Saturday from 8am to 6.30pm.
It is the latest proposal by the authority to install some form of charge for parking in the village – and once again, many residents are opposing the scheme.
At a cabinet housing and planning meeting on Thursday, Mill Lane resident Vernonne Allan presented a petition to members signed by more than 50 residents.
Mrs Allan challenged the findings of a previous consultation, which claimed residents in Prospect Place and London Road has expressed interest in RPPS.
Mrs Allan said she herself had surveyed the area originally considered for RPPS, and found only two people to be firmly in support of the scheme.
She also claimed 16 car parking spaces would be lost were RPPS introduced, contrary to the council’s assertion that none would.
“Is it important to have businesses operating in Welwyn village?” Mrs Allan asked.
“It is evident no sympathetic appraisal has been made of current parking needs and parking patterns for residents, visitors and businesses in Welwyn, let alone an impact assessment.”
Cllr Mandy Perkins, who represents Welwyn West, responded: “There’s no question whether the council wants to drive businesses away from the village.
“Right from the word go everything has been done to improve turnover in the village.”
Cllr Perkins then referred to a written question submitted to the panel – how much the council had spent on parking scheme consultations for Welwyn since a Mouchel traffic survey in October 2010.
“We’ve spent probably quite a lot of money on various parking scheme consultations,” Cllr Perkins said. “That’s quite a valid point.”
The WHT asked the council the same question, and a spokeswoman said: “The Mouchel traffic survey was jointly funded by the borough council, Hertfordshire County Council, county councillor Richard Smith and the parish council. It cost £8,000.
“Since then the council has only spent money on advertising consultations in the local media for proposed changes to traffic regulations. This roughly has cost around £2,500.
“The design and administration of the proposed changes is carried out by council employees.”
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