AM calls for yellow line change to help Welsh traders
COUNCILS across Wales should review double yellow line restrictions in town and city centre streets to see if they could be scrapped, an AM has said.
Byron Davies said many parking restrictions were imposed decades ago in very different times. He said high streets needed all the support they could get with many shoppers attracted by large, parking-friendly supermarkets away from what were traditionally core retail areas.
Referring to some parking restrictions, the Welsh Conservative AM for South Wales West said: "They remain for historical reasons only — but do not serve current requirements.
"Unless councils change their attitude, we will soon have decay and dereliction at the heart of every town and village with devastating consequences. There is a lot at stake here."
Mr Davies, who has written to all Welsh councils asking them to review their parking restrictions, said he felt they saw motorists as "cash cows".
Walking around Swansea city centre last Thursday, Mr Davies said he saw a Rentokil van on St Mary's Square get ticketed. In his view, if the driver was on business the civil enforcement officer responsible ought to have shown restraint.
"I thought, 'How ridiculous?'" said Mr Davies. The shadow minister for transport said some parking restrictions served the correct purpose and should stay. There are some who will argue that encouraging more cars into town and city centres will create extra congestion and so undo any gains for retailers.
Mr Davies took a different view. "I don't think it will encourage congestion," he said. "It would have to be done with the flow of traffic and traffic management in mind."
Antur Insurance Services, St Helen's Road, Swansea, has been backing a UK Government proposal to allow drivers to park on double yellow lines for 15 minutes. But the company said any new parking rules should only be implemented if it was certain they would not impact on safety.
Managing director Gary Stevens said: "Unnecessary parking enforcement can have a real impact on our high street, encouraging many to shop at large out of town business parks or online."