A strategy to control on-street parking in Central Bedfordshire is going out for public consultation, although councillors are concerned over enforcing the rules and regulations.
Much of the new policy sets out principles which were included in current documents, according to a report to Central Bedfordshire Council’s executive.
“But it updates them and aims to present the information in a clearer and more user-friendly way,” said the report.
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“Some sections are newly included or have been changed significantly, including those on town and village centres, disabled parking provision and resident parking schemes.”
A separate strategy for parking enforcement is due to be produced at a future stage, the executive was told.
Conservative Caddington councillor Kevin Collins described it as “providing a document which is accessible and one which our residents can use and understand”.
“I hope this is a good strategy which is fit for purpose. The next part of the process is to go out to public consultation to obtain people’s feedback and incorporate any necessary changes.”
Independent Silsoe and Shillington councillor Alison Graham said: “I don’t see how towns and villages can be fused together like this.
“This is an excellent starting point, but the difficulties in the villages and the towns are different problems.
“This suggests taxis are commonplace in many towns and villages. They’re not. It talks about disabled parking, but in villages it’s difficult to find an area large enough.
“As for residential parking schemes, if residents say there aren’t enough spaces it says other options will be explored. But what are these? The residential parking scheme is the last resort.
“You can’t say what works in town works in villages. I would like this recognised at this early stage.”
Independent Toddington councillor Silvia Collins asked for clarity over different residents’ interpretations of parking on double yellow lines “from five minutes to 20”.
Independent Biggleswade South councillor Hayley Whitaker referred to it as “an interesting document with some nice aspects to it”, saying: “The thing which is missing is the enforcement element.
“We can have some fantastic ideas and great schemes, but unless we can enforce things when they go wrong it leaves us exposed.
“Where’s the other bit about enforcement? Is that going to come and when?”
Councillor Collins, the executive member for regeneration and planning, replied: “That issue will be covered in the parking enforcement strategy.
“I don’t have the precise timetable on that, but will send you an email updating when we expect that to come through.
“The challenge can we give a firmer indication to a vague definition is a fair one on double yellow lines. The answer could well be the definition will vary according to context.
“I agree there’s no one size fits all solution. Even in my ward the parishes have differing profiles.”
Conservative Dunstable Central councillor Carole Hegley also wants the email as enforcement “is hand in glove when you’re talking about parking, especially in towns where it’s very pressured”.
The executive agreed the strategy could proceed for public consultation.