People are moving house because it is getting so hard to park

April 09 2019
Misery of parking for BS3 residents exposed by survey

THE MOST comprehensive survey of public opinion ever undertaken in BS3 has found that the parking situation is so serious that people are moving house to avoid it.

THE MOST comprehensive survey of public opinion ever undertaken in BS3 has found that the parking situation is so serious that people are moving house to avoid it.

In what many people are hoping will be a wake-up call to the council, more than 1,200 people shared their views, showing that the impact of this everyday problem can be shocking.

A majority – 72 per cent – of residents say they experience parking or road safety issues in their area all or most of the time.

More than half – 56 per cent – favour a new resident parking scheme – but this rises to 70 per cent in some parts of Ashton, worst affected by football parking.

The distress caused is shown in statements such as: “I have lived here for 20 years but the parking is making it miserable. I hate hearing the shouting.”

“I genuinely worry about my children’s safety due to non-residents parking and dangerous driving on match days,” said another resident.

And several said they were moving because of parking problems, or they knew people who had: “The situation got so bad that we are now selling our house as it’s become so stressful and neighbours are turning against each other over a parking space!”

The survey was made possible by market researcher Matt Gibbs, who lives in the area and decided that it was so important to gauge public opinion that he would do it for free. Using the name RateBS3, he has also conducted research into the positive impact on the area of the Winter Lantern parade.

It means BS3 is luckier than most other areas of the city. The council has told all councillors they can test local opinion to see if any changes are needed to the parking regime – but it has given them no resources to do it. 

The survey was conducted between November 7 and February 1 and collected 1,229 responses on paper and online. The large numbers from each area – 562 from Ashton, 102 from Ashton Vale, 418 from Bedminster, 188 from Southville and 29 from elsewhere – mean the findings are statistically reliable.

Ashton is the worst affected area, with 80 per cent suffering problems all or most of the time.


What people said ...

“RPZ in Southville and Bedminster have just moved the parking problems down into Ashton. It’s a nightmare daily. I have lived in Ashton for over 50 years and never known it so bad on weekdays.”

“We usually end up parking several streets away from our house, or in some cases literally miles away on match days if we are stupid enough to drive somewhere on those days.”

“Finding a space can take 30-40 minutes. It seems nonsensical to be driving around and polluting the air for that amount of time.” 

“My main concerns are the high speeds that people use on Palmyra Road and the threat of violence from drivers towards each other that I regularly observe.”

“I feel strongly about people paving over front gardens for parking. This results in loss of urban non-paved habitat and also makes parking very tricky.”

“Many residents have moved simply because of the parking problem. The Brewery area is about to be developed, bringing even more cars to the area whilst providing far less spaces than residents – a ridiculous idea.”

“My child was knocked over in the summer while crossing opposite my house. There isn’t a safe point to cross due to congestion and over parking.”

“Parking makes me cry. Literally. It is hellishly bad and if ever I raise my voice I get abuse from football fans who think I deserve this level of misery due to my ‘choice’ of house.”

The chief concern is “inappropriate” parking, mentioned by 74 per cent of respondents, followed by 65 per cent who were aggrieved by vehicles not related to residents or local businesses. Half – 53 per cent – are worried about lack of access for emergency vehicles, 35 per cent about damage to parked cars, and 15 per cent about arguments over parking spaces.

Seventy per cent say they are affected by matchday parking problems. More than half – 56 per cent – want a new RPZ, rising to 64 per cent across the whole of Ashton, where there is no RPZ and residents suffer not only matchday parking but overflow from the Southville RPZ.

In Ashton Vale, 49 per cent oppose an RPZ, even though 75 per cent suffer match day woes.

Some smaller areas are particularly badly affected. In what RateBS3 calls “Area 1”, bounded by North Street, Luckwell, Ashton and Duckmoor roads, 85 per cent have parking issues most or all of the time, and 70 per cent want an RPZ.

Even worse affected is Area 6, bounded by St Francis, Carrington, Friezewood and Balfour roads, where 95 per cent cite frequent parking issues, and 82 per cent want a new RPZ.

Many believe the RPZs in Southville and Bedminster East, introduced in 2015, have made the problem worse for those living south of North Street.

Others blame commuters, who park to walk into the city, or even catch a bus to the airport, and employees working locally.

“Employees now arrive around 6am just to get a space,” said one resident near Luckwell Road. “They leave their engines running adding to pollution and noise. When we leave for work at 7am they are queuing for our space. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

The study was commissioned by a cross-party alliance of the Green councillors for Southville, Charlie Bolton and Stephen Clarke, and the Labour members for Bedminster, Celia Phipps and Mark Bradshaw. They will be presenting the results to the council and calling for action – though it is not clear whether City Hall has either the resources or the will to tackle the problem.

Your councillors: Pages 18-19