Nailsea Town Council firmly decline the proposals by North Somerset Council to introduce parking charges in Nailsea.


Nailsea Town Council (NTC) has written a full response to North Somerset Council (NSC) on the proposals to introduce parking charges in Nailsea. This letter is published here. NTC has chosen to respond by letter to NSC as it was felt that the wording of the questionnaire is exceptionally leading and on that basis, unsuitable to capture our comments.

NTC does not see how the strategy meets the current and future needs of Nailsea. It neither supports our local economy or responds to the challenges of the climate emergency. It is not clear how the introduction of parking charges upholds NSC ambitions for a healthy community with safe and attractive places for residents and visitors to use.

Charging for the parking in Nailsea is unlikely to be self-funding. The current car park users will look elsewhere to park, e.g. Crown Glass Shopping Centre, Waitrose and Tesco car parks. The income from parking charges will not cover the ongoing costs for such a scheme, nor touch the costs of making improvements to Clevedon Road or Station Road. Going forward, Nailsea residents could be subsidising a scheme, which they did not support in the first place.

Nor does Nailsea have an issue with congestion or air pollution. The introduction of parking charges is anticipated to lead to congestion, as people will park in residential areas, narrowing roads and are therefore restricting access.

The potential impacts are negative for businesses as employees will struggle to find free parking and there is a lack of viable public transport in Nailsea to use as an alternative. Visitors, including shoppers, will park in the remaining free-to-use car parks in the town or will take their business to out-of-town shopping centres, which offer free parking. This loss of customers will affect Nailsea businesses greatly. The lack of trade could eventually lead to businesses failing and the closure of town centre shops and businesses, as a result. Businesses may relocate out of Nailsea to accommodate employee and customer parking.

Regarding the proposal for short stay permit for residents, NTC believes that its residents would be opposed to such a scheme and the bureaucracy behinds its implementation. NSC have not provided any financial workings, for such a scheme.

Cllr Anita Smith, Chair of NTC says

“According to NSC, ‘local businesses outside of Weston-Super-Mare and residents have been calling for measures to improve the way parking is managed to support local economies and town centres and improve amenities for residents’ In fact the feedback the Town Council has received is quite contrary to this viewpoint. These proposals will not support local economies nor will they improve amenities for residents; quite the opposite in fact. These proposals could be the final straw for many traders in the town centre recovering from a cost of living crisis and Covid, so they should be abandoned by NSC. We strongly urge NSC to give up this unpopular plan to tax the motorist to fund other services as it is regressive and unfair, affecting those on low incomes the worst. We urge them instead to focus on supporting the town centre traders by advertising and capitalising on the Unique Selling Point (USP) of free parking encouraging people to shop locally instead.”