Local people are angry about proposals for residents’ parking in Newnham. One local resident summed it up when she said, “It’s very disappointing – after public meetings and so much discussion, the scheme we’re being offered isn’t what we asked for and could make parking worse.”
Commuter parking is a major problem in Newnham and strong views have been expressed for and against residents’ parking. Parking is the responsibility of the county council and Newnham’s Lib Dem county councillor has been under pressure for some time to arrange a public consultation on the issue. Now that residents at last have the opportunity to express their views, it’s disappointing that the proposed scheme has been so poorly designed. It will be difficult to interpret the result of the consultation because some people voting against this proposal might well have supported a better scheme.
Critics point out that around a quarter of the parking spaces in the Croft would be lost. This could mean there is little or no benefit from stopping commuter parking. The number of parking spaces available for residents needs to be increased, particularly by reducing the double yellow lines. Many residents would like the scheme extended to cover the weekend to stop parking by city shoppers. And there is widespread concern about the huge number of proposed road signs, around 90 in the Croft alone, which is at odds with Newnham being a conservation area. Residents feel that county officers and local Lib Dem councillors should have given these issues more careful consideration.
Labour’s City Council Candidate, Mike Davey, has written to the county council in support of residents’ views. Mike says, “We need a scheme that ensures that it’s easier for residents to park. It’s also important that we meet the needs of local shops. And we don’t want Newnham spoiled by dozens of parking signs. It’s essential that the scheme is revised to take into account local views”
The current consultation closed on 4 December. If there is a majority in favour of residents’ parking then a formal statutory consultation will follow and residents should continue to put pressure on their local councillors to ensure the final scheme is fit for purpose.