The Twilight (Parking) Zone….

Just when you thought it had gone away our old friend the JQ parking debate is back.

This autumn the Council is charging an extra £10 for redsidents’ permits, increasing them to £215 p.a. But since the Great Parking Reform of about 18 months ago, (bit like Mao’s Great Leap Forward, but nobody died), pressure has increased on the limited number of residents’ spaces, so we now pay more and get less.

Not much we can do about that you might say, given the JQ needs to grow and more folk means more demand. But you’d be missing certain changes that can be tackled. When the new scheme came in, parking in the city centre was free after 6pm (as in the JQ). Now city centre parking is paid for up to 7.30pm and on Sundays this has led to overspill parking into the (free) nearby JQ. As your £215 only buys you parking time up to 6pm Mon-Sat,with a free for all after that, residents in the city fringe area of the JQ are finding it harder to park. New planning approvals – e.g. the new school on Newhall St – have also brought more daytime permit employee holders into the city centre, again putting pressure on resident on-street parking.

We need a council review of the charging regime/hours to give residents with permits a fairer deal. We also need the council to mark out permit parking spaces to maximise usage (as they do with ticketed parking) and to warn non-permit holders with better road markings and signage on ticket machines. There’s no satisfaction seeing parking penalties handed out like confetti if the offending cars still sit there taking a up a permit space someone paid £215 for.

Unlike employee permit holders, residents who need on-street parking have no where else to go. The increasing parking pressure after working hours and at weekends hits residents not businesses. Time to let the council know the not so mysterious JQ Zone needs a tweak or two……

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