Monday, 4 October 2010

Pay & Display - A Sham Consultation

Reading's LibDem/Tory coalition council has found a new way to fleece us and write a new chapter in it's ignominious transport and planning history.

Having learned nothing from past bonkers ideas, from the One Way IDR right up to the current Shinfield Road fiasco, now they will introduce Pay & Display parking across much of the town.

But any thought that this new scheme depends on the outcome of a public consultation is completely wrong. It's a sham consultation.

1. The Tories said they would do it before that last election and the LibDems are dutifully obliging them.
2. They have already started with pay machines due to land in the Oxford Road in a couple of weeks time.
3. It's not listed on the RBC website consulation page, which boasts "If we are planning to do something in your community or across the Borough, we need your feedback. In this section of the site, you'll find all the current consultations that you can give us your opinion." As I post this, it's not there.

In Redlands the council recently rejected an application for a new car park at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, despite the fact that the need for another has long been identified by RBC.

Instead Cllr Willis has said "a review of parking in the area round the hospital was already under way". In other words, RBH can't have a car park, but RBC will make money from introducing pay and display parking in residential streets surrounding the hospital. Let me be clear, this is where I live - and I believe it's already been decided.

And how many of our silent local LibDem ward councillors will be affected by these changes in Redlands? None.

1 comment:

richardwillisuk said...

Tony - almost everything you state in your article is simply wrong!

1. We are not proposing "pay and display across most of the town". We are proposing a two year trial of the technology in the town centre only. IF that is successful then we will consider rolling it out to some other areas including the University and Hospital areas.

2. The Post report you link to is inaccurate. Machines are not due to land in Oxford Road in a couple of weeks! Oxford Rd was mentioned at the TUF as a possible future site for consideration of P&D but there are no plans or proposals to even consider this in the near future.

3. The town centre trial is just that - a trial! It involves 198 bays out of about 8,000 car parking spaces.

4. You should know that planning issues such as the RBH car park are decided on planning grounds. If you look at the plans that were submitted you will see why they were unacceptable to Cllrs and local residents.

5. You may "believe" that it has been decided to introduce P&D around the hospital but you would be wrong. We have been quite open that we are looking at it and discussing with ward Cllrs and the Hospital and Uni but NO DECISION HAS BEEN TAKEN! Initial reaction has been positive including from some residents but there is a long way to go before any decision is made.

Tony, you have rightly criticised others in the past who have jumped to knee jerk criticisms without getting their facts straight. I am afraid you have here fallen into the same category.