Proposal to improve parking in Minehead

Somerset County Council is proposing to make improvements to parking arrangements in Minehead.

The potential changes will give residents priority parking areas, remove competition between tourists and residents for parking spaces and improve safety in the area. They would also see an increase in permit charges, bringing the cost in line with the rest of the county.

This week residents on Quay Street and Quay West will receive a letter that gives information on the proposals and a feedback form to have their say on the parking arrangements.

Cllr David Fothergill, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “These changes have been proposed following a countywide consultation last year. Minehead residents responded to the consultation and highlighted areas of the current parking scheme that do not meet their needs.

“The proposed new scheme will give residents priority over parking by creating permit parking only areas and it will allow visitors to park for short periods and holiday makers staying in B&Bs to have weekly scratch cards. This will reduce the competition between residents and tourists for parking spaces.

“New restrictions will also be introduced to improve safety in the area where no parking controls currently exist. Plus in recognition of the important service provided by the RNLI permits will be issued to them free of charge.

“I encourage residents to have their say on the proposals. You are the experts on your street so it is important that you tell us what will work best for you and if there are any issues with the proposed new parking arrangements.”

A drop-in information event about the proposed changes is taking place on Monday 18th January 2016 from 3pm to 7pm at The Old Ship Aground on Quay West. Residents are encouraged to attend the event to find out more about the proposals, ask questions and submit their feedback. All residents on Quay Street and Quay West have been sent a feedback form to complete.

All the feedback from residents will be collated and considered. The next step will be a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) that will be made public and consulted on fully. Depending on the level of response to the TRO the new parking scheme could be in place at the start of the 2016 summer season.

The countywide consultation conducted last year led to the cost of permits being increased elsewhere in the county. It was agreed that no increase would take place in Minehead until a review of parking in Quay Street and Quay West was undertaken and new parking arrangements proposed.

These new proposals include a rise in permit charges in line with other areas in the county and to cover the cost of administering and enforcing the parking scheme. To help residents adjust the increase in cost will be gradual over three years.