Parking fees to stay as council puts safety first
AN OBJECTION to the introduction of pay and display fees in Abersoch has been thrown out by councillors.
Members of Gwynedd Council’s planning committee met on Monday to consider the parking fees that were brought in last year to help mitigate road safety concerns in the popular tourist village.
The area near y Fach, Abersoch, borders the A499 highway and is a well-known spot for tourists visiting the nearby Warren beach.
But, according to the council report, motorists have parked on the verge of the road for many years without any regulation, with the lack of formal crossing leading to safety concerns.
As a result, last year the council invested in a scheme that enabled people to park and cross the road in a safer and more organised manner.
Parking fees were also brought in for the first time in a bid to stop the site being “misused” by motorists or caravan users for long periods, and to “promote reasonable turnover” during the daytime.
The seasonal rates now in place start at £1 for an hour’s parking, up to £7.50 for 24 hours, with a ban on caravans or motor homes between 10pm and 8pm.
But, despite enjoying the backing of both the community council and local council member, the planning committee was asked to consider an objection from a member of the public.
The unnamed objector, said: “My family and I have enjoyed the area for more than 40 years and hope to continue for many years to come.
“The new parking charges at Fach Farm are astronomical for the young family of today.
“What a shame for the businesses in Abersoch who are trying to make a living in such a short holiday season.”
But councillors unanimously backed the continuation of the scheme after being satisfied that it enjoyed the backing of most locals.
Corporate property senior manager, Dafydd Gibbard, told members: “The scheme was brought in following numerous concerns locally. As a result, we invested in a designated facility to allow people to park safely in the area.
“Following discussions with both the local member and community council, it was agreed that the current scheme was acceptable and no objections were raised during the initial process.”
Cllr Dewi Wyn Roberts, who represents Abersoch, added: “During a time of having to make savings it’s important for us to look at ways of bringing in income. But, more importantly, the scheme tackles long-running safety concerns.”
The officers’ report con- cludes, “No charge will be made outside the holiday season (November to February).
“The income created from car parks contributes to the cost of maintaining the county’s highways network and maintaining the 106 car parks provided by the council.
“Increasing the safety of motorists and pedestrians was one of the main reasons for creating this new resource. Planning permission has been secured and, as part of the design, the 30mph zone has been extended in order to reduce speeds before reaching this location.”
● Cars parked along the grass verge on the A499 highway near Abersoch. Image: Google Streetview.