Saturday 8 June 2013

RPZ: you aren't paying to park -you are buying the option to drive

One recurrent theme repeated by the anti-RPZ people is that you will be "paying to park".

These people are missing the point so badly that they must be cyclists -certainly they don't live in any of the current Bristol RPZ area.

The council is not forcing you to pay to park outside your house -they are saying that for £50 a year, you get the option of using your car on a weekday.

This is Cotham, the new 2013 RPZ. See the spaces?

Before, on any weekday, there would be no space. If your car was parked, it would have to stay there all day -because if you moved it before  1pm, there would be no room to put anywhere when you came back.

Which meant you could not use your car and go home again on a weekday. Parents were forced to walk their children to school, because there was no parking afterwards. It meant if you were at home during the day, you couldn't drive to the supermarket, because there would be nowhere near to unload or park. Instead residents would have to walk to the co-op by the Highbury, or down to Clifton Down. And, without a car load of food, do this two or three times a week. The main alternative: wait until peak evening and weekend hours.

Anyone who did have to drive somewhere, and then needed to come back, would end up having to park on a corner, on yellow lines, or  in front of someone else's garage.  Or just in the middle of the road:

The problem with this approach is that a couple of times a year you do end up with a parking ticket -and a single parking ticket costs a resident more than a year's RPZ permit.

The RPZ changes that: you can drive, you can park near your house, you can do the school run by car, you can shop at supermarkets on a weekday morning.

To say the RPZ proposal is some council anti-car policy is ridiculous. It may be anti-commuter-from-the Elf Kindom of Somerset, or the Dwarven Plains of S Gloucs, but for inner city residents who own a car it brings something you've never had: the ability to use your car on a weekday.

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