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Last Updated: Monday, 14 July, 2003, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Town's traffic plan changes
Great Darkgate Street, Aberystwyth
People have been stopped from parking in the main street
Wide-ranging changes to a controversial transport plan introduced in Aberystwyth last year are expected to be approved.

After complaints from businesses and disabled people that they are not able to park in the busy university town, several concessions are expected to be made by Ceredigion councillors.

These include allowing motorists to use parking bays which had been reserved for business use - but only in the afternoon.

The 2m scheme was set up to address traffic congestion in the town, which has 20,000 people living there during university terms.

It has tried to increase the traffic flow by only allowing lorries to load and unload goods at shops on the main street during the day.

But businesses claim they are losing thousands of pounds each month because of the plan.

Some businesses were losing up to three thousand pounds a month because customers couldn't get access to them.
Lyndon Davies, Chamber of Trade

But on Tuesday the council's cabinet is expected to pass a number of orders which will allow more people to park in town during the day.

"Problems started for our members when roads were closed for months at a time when the first phase of work was being done," said Lyndon Davies, president of Aberystwyth's Chamber of Trade.

"Some businesses were losing up to 3,000 a month because customers couldn't get access to them."

Customer confidence

The jeweller said shoppers have traditionally parked very near where they wanted to buy goods.

He claimed customer confidence has collapsed because of the scheme and shoppers were taking their custom elsewhere.

Because of the lack of parking spaces, the chamber has also criticised drivers with disabled parking badges keeping their cars in one place for too long.

"People with disabled badges were parking for three hours at a time which was creating a problem," said Mr Davies.

But this problem has now been resolved, according to John Fitzpatrick of disability rights group, Ceredigion Access.

"I am pleased to say that the Chamber of Trade are now working hand in hand with us and recognise the need for disabled parking in the town," he said.

"Changes to the transport plan will mean that there will now be some parking spaces available for people."

Lyndon Davies
Mr Davies claims customer confidence has collapsed

Councillors will also be asked to agree 5,000 for a feasibility study to decriminalise parking.

Parking fines would then be paid to the local authority rather than the courts.

This would result in money from fines going to pay for more traffic wardens. There are just two wardens employed in Aberystwyth at the moment.

The council are also considering whether a multi-storey car park should be built there.

Keith Evans, Ceredigion's cabinet member for highways, property and works, said the Aberystwyth transportation strategy was one of many measures taken up to support Welsh assembly policy.

"We have tried to deal with problems involving street clutter, congestion, illegal parking, poor enforcement and inadequate signing in the town," he added.




SEE ALSO:
Business park plans unveiled
08 Jul 03  |  Mid
Car park fee threat to town
19 Jun 03  |  North East Wales


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