A personal blog/website from Cllr John Hunt

Thank you for meeting me to discuss Bishops Hull’s parking issues.

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May I start by thanking all of you who took the trouble to meet up with me last Friday at the Frank Bond Centre and in the bitter cold on Saturday at Richmond Park, Waterfield Drive, Bishops Hull Road and Shutewater Close.

Personally I thought the ‘meet-ups’ went very well. Listening to your views and ideas face to face was so insightful. It gave me an opportunity to discuss the various complex parking issues with you and gain invaluable feedback that simply isn’t possible to do using email, etc.

Many of you have also contact me via social media and email, so this article is for you and those that were unable to attend the ‘meet-ups’.
It includes what was discussed at the various locations including the actions I’ve asked Somerset County Council to undertake, together with the advice given to me by the Police during a two hour meeting with them on Sunday 18/02/18, at Taunton Police Station.

Richmond Park.
Issue: Residents find it very difficult if not impossible to secure a parking space in the road due mainly to the commuter parking of students and hospital staff.

Possible solution: The creation of a residents parking zone. Several of you ask me to put this forward to SCC highways, which I did at a meeting with them on the 8th Feb and was told this would be looked at favourably. Although this is far from a ‘done deal’ I was told that I’d need 60% of you to agree to the scheme for it to be considered further.
On Saturday I spoke to many of you in the area directly effected by the proposed scheme and have well over 60% of you in favour.

There were addition suggestions too.
One resident suggested cutting back the grassed area to provide additional spaces, with vehicles parking at an angle rather than alongside the pavement as they do now.
Another asking that parking restrictions are not added outside their existing off-road space, thus reducing parking for them, which they currently enjoy.
An objection from a resident concerned that people without permits will park in a private area, causing access issues.

What happens now? I’m waiting to be contacted by the SCC officer dealing with this scheme and will give him my findings. Once I’ve spoken to him I’ll add any progress to this article in the form of an UPDATE, together with an estimate of the time this will take if approved. The various points raised by you will be discussed too, in an effort to make the scheme acceptable to as many residents as possible.
Below is the area of grass in question.

Waterfield Drive.
Issue: Inconsiderate parking on the west exit corner of Waterfield Close and on both exit corners of Jarmyns, blocking drivers vision when exiting both roads.
These vehicles (usually commuters) are parked in contravention of highway code 243, which says “do not stop or park opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction”.
There’s also a problem with parking opposite Great Mead for the same reason, however I think we all agreed at the ‘meet-up’ that if these vehicles were moved, they would probably end up in the adjoining roads causing even more problems.

Possible solution: Double Yellow lines on the corners where the problem exists. I’ve asked SCC highways for these restrictions and they have agreed, subject to the proposals going through the council’s usual process, so it’s not 100% certain, but is likely to happen.
Everyone at the ‘meet-up’ was supportive of the scheme. Adding these restrictions to the Double Yellow lines I asked for last year and now in place at the bottom of Waterfield Drive, will I believe make the road much safer for all concerned.

What happens now? I’ll update you as soon as I hear a progress report. Realistically I’d say in the next 12 months, a similar time period to the restrictions now in place at the bottom of Waterfield Drive.

Below is the plan of the scheme, a photo of the new double yellows at the bottom of Waterfield Drive and one of some of you who met up with me. Sorry if I’ve accidentally cut one or two of you out, the Sun was in my eyes. OK so I’m also a rubbish photographer lol.

Bishops Hull Hill/Bishops Hull Road.
Issue: The single most reported parking problem I’ve had since becoming your County Councillor in terms of complaints, is the bend opposite the entrance to Netherclay. Inconsiderate parking on this bend causes complete chaos in the village, with the No.3 bus, waste lorries, etc completely blocking the road when passing these badly parked vehicles.
Trying to cross the road at this point puts us all in considerable danger, particularly children and our more mature residents.

Possible solution: A parking restriction that prevents anyone from parking here. I’ve asked for this from SCC highways and they’ve agreed subject to the proposal going through the usual process. I’ve included the plan below and a photo of some of you that met up with me in the cold last Saturday.

What happens now? As soon as I hear more I’ll update you all.

Shutewater Close.
Issue: Due to the lack of parking available to residents, vehicles are parked wherever space can be found.
This area was constructed back in the day when owning more than one vehicle per household was rare, cars were also much smaller and thus, parking was not an issue. Clearly times have changed, with many households now having two vehicles and some three or more.

Possible solution: Firstly it’s important to stress that some of the issues in the area could be solved by residents parking in a more thoughtful manner.
It has been suggested that the large grassed area in Shutewater Close be turned into a car parking spaces. This would possibly provide 10/12 spaces and would in my opinion, go some way towards reducing the problem in the area.

What happens now? Having spoken to many of you in Shutewater Close who are in favour of this idea, I have now presented this to Somerset County Council highways. Their reaction was favourable and they’re looking into possible ways of funding this.
It’s worth saying that at this stage that we are a long way from this happening, however the initial signs are promising and I’ll update this page with any progress.

Below is a photo of those who up met with me on Saturday, and two of the grassed area discussed.

Advice from the Police.
I’d like to start by thanking Sergeant Charmaine Dyne, Beat Manager Charles Gear and PCSO Simon Parry for giving up their valuable time to meet with me on Sunday 18/02/18.
Many issues were discussed including inconsiderate parking.
They gave there full support to the possible parking solution at Shutewater Close, which can only assist in moving this scheme forward.
With regards to general parking complaints, frustratingly there is very little the Police can do.
However there are circumstances when they can be of assistance. For example, If someone is parked with two wheels on the pavement preventing people, buggies, wheelchairs etc from passing, then this is breaking the law and you should call 101 and report this to the Police. If a vehicle is completely blocking your driveway, please call 101. If a vehicle is parked in a dangerous position, again call 101.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, the Police are badly understaffed and short on government funding. Put simply, they don’t have the resources necessary to deal with many of our issues caused by inconsiderate parking.

Useful Contacts to report illegal parking.
Here’s a link to the Police website for advice on how and what to report – Avon & Somerset Police.

If you would like to report a vehicle parked in contravention of a parking restriction, please phone Somerset County Council’s enforcement contractor NSL on 01823 210566 or email parking@somerset.gov.uk

In conclusion.
I’d like to thank you all for your many photos, emails and social media comments on the above issues. I’ve been able to use these as evidence to prove to the authorities that there is a problem with inconsiderate parking in our village and get some action. As I’ve said, this will take time, but at least something positive has been proposed in all areas and hopefully will come to fruition.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on john@bishopshull.com

John Hunt.

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