Park­ing fees to stay as coun­cil puts safety first

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

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.

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