AN ARTICLE on the Hedon Blog last year inviting opinions on Vehicle and Car Parking in the town used the image of a ‘can of worms’ in anticipation of the expected views! It was probably a controversial image, but reflected the fact that the issue raises a very difficult set of problems.
Parking a vehicle in the town centre causes constant dilemmas for residents and visitors:
- Where do you park?
- Where can you park?
- How long can you stay parked in that spot?
- Where’s most convenient?
- Once parked, how far do you have to walk/travel to your destination?
- Should you risk parking where you shouldn’t? Are there any Wardens about?
- What’s become your normal place for parking and your common practice?
- What if somebody else is using your normal space?
- Will your vehicle be safe (e.g. from accidents/thieves) whilst your away from it?
Each and every driver in the town who needs to park up in Hedon for whatever purpose – whether a visit to the shops, school or doctors for example, picking something up, dropping something off, or parking up at work and/or home – faces these constant dilemmas.
And what is obvious, is that at peak times parking places in Hedon are scarce and valuable! This evokes strong emotions and frustrations amongst motorists whose opinions seem to differ wildly between the need for more parking enforcement or for less enforcement!
It has been suggested that Hedon is suffering from an ‘infrastructure’ problem; demand for parking has simply outgrown the existing parking facilities. And demand is growing!
A ‘solution’ to the growing problems of parking in the town is not readily available; this was apparent at the Hedon Town Council meeting last night. However, there were some suggestions.
A local resident in the public participation meeting suggested a radical shift of the doctors surgeries from Market Hill to another site, possibly at the Rosedale Centre, to release parking pressures in the centre of Hedon. This would also focus health resources in one place as well, it was argued. It was stated in response that it was not just parking requirements at the doctors, but those for the nursery school, primary school, local businesses and householders that compounded problems at Market Hill. Also, each Hedon general practice is an independent business with ‘easy access to health care’ being their core guiding principle – a move to a more remote location from a central location would seem unlikely to feature in their current business plans.
The idea of introducing parking restrictions – perhaps for 1 or 2 hours – at Market Hill was put forward; restrictions of course would have to be enforced to be effective. It was interesting to note that the East Riding Council have offered to give advice to the Town Council about implementing ‘Limited Waiting’ measures if this option is chosen.
A residents’ parking permit scheme was suggested as something for investigation; and better use of the old station car park was another. Using parking spaces more effectively in the Market Place would also help, as would encouraging less use of the valuable parking spaces by taxis.
In their formal Finance & General Purposes meeting, Hedon Councillors discussed Vehicle Parking in more detail, with the following being some of the conclusions:
- The Hedon Group Practice had instigated the current debate on parking by conducting a survey amongst patients on the issue. It was agreed that councillors invite both local practice managers to contribute to a dialogue with the council should they wish; any findings available from surveys might enhance the discussion.
- It was also agreed to write to the East Riding Council regarding the usage of the old station car park.
- The Market Place car park has two bays reserved at times for loading/deliveries – it would be investigated whether these were really necessary and could they be converted back to standard parking bays?
- To write a polite letter to Hedon Taxis enquiring if they could do more to ease the pressure on valuable parking spaces in the Market Place.
This discussion has started, and the first actions have been taken – but it looks likely to be a lengthy process!