Parking Zones; you have a choice –take it or take it!
Around 250 people attended a Neighbourhood Forum meeting at Clifton High School on April 22nd to discuss the implementation of Residents’ Parking Zones in Clifton, Cliftonwood and Hotwells.
Cllr. Simon Cook began by explaining to the meeting that although Lib Dem policy was for nothing to be done without a consensus from local people, the Mayor had decided to exercise his executive power to implement schemes without support from Councillors and even members of his cabinet and is determined to roll out parking zones all over the City as soon as possible. There was therefore no point in the meeting arguing about whether or not a parking zone should be implemented in our neighbourhood; it was going to happen anyway!
However Cllr Cook indicated there was scope for adapting schemes to meet the differing requirements of (say) Clifton Village as opposed to Cliftonwood and, it emerged there may even be leeway on issues like pavement parking in streets where strict enforcement would drastically reduce the space available for residents to park. This more conciliatory approach went some way to de-fusing a contentious subject that seems to polarise public opinion like no other and traffic manager Terry Bullock was able to allay many of the reservations raised in questions from the audience, although there were obviously people still implacably opposed to RPZs in principle.
As well as commuters, there seemed little sympathy for students (who would need to have their vehicles registered at a Bristol address to qualify for a permit) and for shared houses which might fall foul of the limit of a maximum 3 cars per household.
The Mayor’s strategy will have been informed by two trends to emerge from the schemes already implemented in Kingsdown and Cotham. One is that, in each case, the scheme was initially approved by a very small majority of residents but, when re-surveyed after 6 months, the proportion in favour had increased considerably. The second consideration is the ‘domino effect’ of piecemeal introduction of schemes which then transfer the parking problem to the neighbouring (unregulated) area. A near-simultaneous rollout to all areas would avoid this, although the City does not have the resources to implement every scheme on the same date.
Following further detailed consultation, the plan is to be ready to implement Hotwells & Cliftonwood zone by mid-April 2014 and Clifton by mid June 2014. There will be an opportunity for fine-tuning each scheme after a 6 month review of performance.
Refurbishment of Charles Place playground
a budget of £43,000, five companies were asked to to come up with designs
for the refurbishment of Charles Place play park. Some members of our park
support group and Cllr. Trevor Blythe looked at the designs and shortlisted
two of these. A further public consultation, led by Deborah White for the
City Council produced a clear winner. This design offers a wide range of
play options for both pre-school and primary age children. The existing
gates and fencing will be replaced and the planting will be improved and
all the equipment and the surfacing will be new.
As well as BCC play officer John Knowlson and project manager Vicki Abel who have patiently steered us through the process, thanks are due to Cllr Blythe for submitting our application for capital funding and to the Clifton & Cabot Neighbourhood Partnership for their financial support. Above all, we must thank the many local people who came forward to make it clear that the park was needed and to suggest their own ideas for improvement. Their presence was invaluable when the possibility of funding became a reality.
Work on the park will be completed during May.
Spring Garden flat conversion rejected by planners
The controversial proposal to turn the former Spring Garden pub into 9 apartments has been thrown out by Bristol planning department. Many grounds for rejection were cited, including loss of a community venue, over-intensive and damaging extension of the building, impractical parking arrangements and loss of privacy for neighbours. It seems that any commercially viable future for the building is going to be hard to achieve. Let us have your thoughts about what should happen to the site by email or on our Facebook page.
Opposition mounts to Bus Rapid Transit plans
As details emerge of the proposed Rapid Transit route, it looks likely that real damage will be done to Cumberland Road and the historic harbour. The original aspiration for all modern vehicles has been lost. Most of the buses using the route will be depressingly familiar, diverted from other routes including the Long Ashton Park and Ride.
There is widespread opposition to BRT2 along Cumberland Road. Possibly, most-affected are residents in the flats near Gaol Ferry Bridge whose current outlook of the waterfront will be marred by double-deck buses running past every few minutes. Louis Semple who lives in Perrett’s Court says they don’t want to appear as NIMBIES but ‘the feeling of opposition is pretty strong’ and many agree with the Stop BRT2 group that is campaigning to abandon the project entirely because ‘It will not achieve its primary goal of addressing Bristol's transport problems and needs’. Bristol Civic Society has taken a more moderate view but still believes the route of BRT2 should be diverted away from the waterfront by simply running it down Cumberland Road to meet the line from Hengrove at Bathurst Basin, thus avoiding the loss of the Harbour Railway and also expensive engineering works to the Cumberland Road railway bridge.
For further information see Environment
& Transport page
New visitor website for Hotwells
www.destinationhotwells.org.uk is the new site for anyone wanting to find our more about Hotwells and its fascinating history. This has links to an interactive Hotwells map developed for us by local resident Liv of Studio Siberia. It enables you to find out more about some of the places, events and people who have made this place so special. The map was used at the 'Pride of Place' exhibition in 2011 which marked the opening of M Shed museum. It is designed to operate with a touch-sensitive screen but works fine with a mouse as well. Our printed Hotwells Tourist Trail can also be downloaded from here.
We would like to find some advertising sponsors to help with the maintenance
of this site