NOT enough is being done to address parking and traffic issues in East Riding of Yorkshire council’s Area Action Plan (AAP), according to objectors.
At a public hearing into the soundness of East Riding council’s plans for Bridlington’s future generation, a number of objectors raised concerns with plans to remove on-street, town centre parking and to turn Bridge Street into a town square, blocking it to through traffic.
Inspector Sian Worden was told at the hearing by Bridlington Town Councillor Michael Charlesworth that: “We (the Town Council) would like to see King Street reopened to traffic and parking reinstated. There were 800 car movements a day before it was pedestrianised, we think it would help the current town centre businesses if it was brought back.
“I refute the contention that the town believe it is a good idea to stop free town centre parking. The only advantage of the plan is to bring people into council car parks which they will have to pay for.”
Local resident Phylis Foster said: “I have walked around the businesses in town and 90 per cent of them say that removing the free parking would kill that area of town. Since King Street was pedestrianised it has gone down hill, it has not been able to hold on to businesses.
“I am a normal person with a family. I need to shop around and I park outside the shops I need to go to. There are also a lot of elderly people in town who park close to the shops they are going to use.
“If free parking is taken away then people are more likely just going to go to a bigger Tesco where parking is free and buy everything there.”
Barry Guildford asked the council on specifics of their traffic plan, including how traffic will travel from north to south when Bridge Street is made into a town square.
“I’d like to know also where traffic coming south on Promenade can go. If the town centre is pedestrianised and Bridge Street is blocked off for the town centre, there is no right turn for traffic off Promenade.
“I understand that you have not made detailed plans, but there seems that there has been no thought gone into it at all.”
Head of Bridlington Renaissance, John Lister, said at the hearing: “We would like to reduce the amount of traffic on Bridge Street, we looked at putting in an entirely new road on the Palace Car Park, but then we looked at the Beck Hill bridge.
“We have already introduced measures to slow traffic down on Promenade and introduced parts of Bridlington’s traffic plan with the park and ride.
“As yet, there is no specific plan for King St, Chapel St, Prince St etc but we are looking at removing a lot of the parking spaces from the town centre to stop traffic travelling around there looking for spaces.
“We cannot do anything now until more detailed plans are in place, and there will be consultation.”
Nora Galley, partner at Roger Tim and partners, lead planning consultant to East Riding Council, said that despite the free parking currently offered, the town centre was still in decline.
She said that by removing traffic from the town centre, the shopping experience for customers would be improved.
“Whether it was the right thing to do to pedestrianise King Street or not, there is provision for improving the parking situation in the AAP, a net addition of 700 extra spaces.”
Adrian James, speaking at the meeting on behalf of the Lords Feoffees, said that the council’s decision to turn down their planning application for a 206 space multi-storey car park on Beck Hill showed the AAP was inflexible, and therefore unsound.