Monday, 5 May 2014

Council criticised for lack of progress on parking improvements

I have today criticised the City Council’s lack of progress on a commitment given last year to look at several ways of easing parking problems in the West End short of a residents’ parking scheme, following the rejection of such a scheme by residents in the area south of Blackness Road and east of Windsor Street.

It was no surprise that the residents’ parking scheme idea was rejected by the majority of residents as the proposed £80 cost and proposal to charge visitors for parking in the area was a pretty unsellable idea, but I was anxious that something positive comes out of the consultation process and, looking at the consultation returns from residents and local businesses, there were a number of good ideas the council should consider taking forward.

At council committee in April 2013, the council unanimously agreed to my suggestion to:
... remit the Director of City Development to undertake a review of all waiting restrictions in the West End area of the City and to report back to the Committee in early course with his views regarding any additional parking space which could be achieved by removing any current waiting restrictions which are no longer appropriate or necessary.
However, it has now emerged that, one year on, the council has made no progress on this review, despite assurances that progress would be made by autumn of last year.

The Council’s Head of Transportation has now advised me:
No significant progress has been made in terms of reviewing the wider waiting restrictions on and off street in the West End of Dundee.  Current resources in terms of traffic regulation orders is focussing on new developments and on road safety priorities.  I would advise that there are several area wide reviews outstanding across the City and it is unlikely that any significant progress will be made on these until 2015.
We are training more staff to review traffic regulation orders which will allow us to make progress in future years.
I am distinctly unimpressed with the council’s lack of progress, which flies in the face of assurances that had been previously given and I have now called on the City Council to put some momentum behind the committee decision to undertake the review ‘in early course.’

Residents rejected the parking scheme but the council should be doing other things to help if it could only put some momentum into the process.   The most obvious one is to look again at the extent of waiting restrictions to see what additional parking space could be safely created.   This is not only about removing yellow paint off some roads where it would be of benefit to residents, but also in some places making some of the current double yellow lines into single yellow would help residents at weekends and in the evening.

It agreed to look at this issue street by street in the West End and come up with some recommendations to consult local people with.  It also agreed to look at ways local car parks could operate better.   

It is vital that some good comes out of the residents’ parking scheme consultation and that all reasonable steps are taken to help West End residents get their cars parked a little easier so I am calling on the council to now act promptly on the commitment it has already given.