Stroud Town Council has challenged Gloucestershire County Council’s parking consultation and called for it to be paused.
The online consultation is poorly presented and difficult for people to navigate says the Town Council and excludes residents who don’t have access to computers.
“This consultation will have a huge impact on Stroud residents and businesses yet there are no face-to-face consultations. All those who work and live in Stroud should have the opportunity to give feedback and to have Gloucestershire Highways explain these proposals,” says Stroud Mayor Stella Parkes.
“The online maps are hard to navigate and the overall project is badly presented. Many local businesses have not been informed. Residents who do not live on earmarked streets have not been informed even though any changes will have a knock-on effect across the town.”
The Town Council states that the consultation does not take on board feedback from the last consultation in 2022.
“That consultation demonstrated there were very few streets where residents felt they would benefit from parking permits. Yet this consultation does not reflect all those findings. It is a blanket approach which is impenetrable,” says Councillor Parkes.
The Town Council has also questioned the timing during the cost of living crisis and the challenges many face. The proposed parking permits would cost people £61.80 a year for one car and an additional £123.60 for the second. Businesses could face a cost of £320 a year for a parking permit. To many residents and businesses it feels like a money-making scheme, rather than a desire to solve parking problems.
The four-week consultation, which ends on 29 April, was over the Easter break when many residents were on holiday.
“The people of Stroud deserve better,” says Councillor Parkes. “The consultation should be paused and redesigned so that it can be presented in a more inclusive way to ensure people can make their voices heard, rather than being presented with something that feels, once again, like lip service to the consultation process.
“In the meantime we would urge people to fight their way through the online process and comment on the proposals.”
Gloucestershire County Council have now extended the parking consultation to Tuesday, May, 9am.
A spokesperson said: “We are exercising our informational discretionary powers to allow people three more days to respond to the consultation over the Bank Holiday weekend.”