New parking restrictions to ease congestion in Sheffield
Permit parking and restrictions on the use of on-street spaces could be extended to moreÂ areasÂ ofÂ Sheffield throughÂ a Â£50,000 scheme.
Council officers are to work on a feasibility study looking at bringing in the measures in several places, including Kelham Island, Banner Cross, the area around Dore and Totley railway station and Park Hill.
The project - which will cost Â£48,000 and has been approved by cabinet members - is part of a strategy to manage traffic congestion by controlling the supply of car parking, the authority says.
Permit zones giving priority to residents and businesses are already well-established in locations where spaces are in high demand, such as Broomhill, Hillsborough, Broomhall, Endcliffe, Sharrow Vale and streets in the city centre.
New areas under consideration include the St Vincent's Quarter - bounded by Broad Lane, Netherthorpe Road and Shalesmoor - Granville Road, East Bank Road, Bolsover Street and Endcliffe Vale Road.
Chris Morgan, chairman of the Friends of Dore and Totley Station, said a 'comprehensive study and agreed plan of action' was needed looking at the station's role and the implications of a big growth in passenger numbers, as well as traffic and parking, 'including the use of waiting restrictions and a permit or residents' parking scheme'.
"National rail use has doubled in the last 20 years; at Dore and Totley it’s doubled in the last seven years."
The friends group was 'very much aware of the lack of adequate parking in the vicinity of the station', despite the creation of a 129-space car park there five years ago, Mr Morgan said.
"We would estimate that almost 100 more off-road spaces are required to accommodate cars parking on nearby roads in association with rail travel. As services from the station are increasingly popular, we suspect that if these were provided it would not be long before another 100 cars were attracted.
"Park and ride is seen as a way to reduce congestion on routes into and around the city centre but the side effects elsewhere need to be considered. As a friends group we are very conscious of the differing priorities of local residents and rail users."
He said the council, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and train operating companies were 'already very well aware' of issues around the station, but added: "Any resolution, short or long term, will need to include a degree of restriction of on-street parking in critical areas. Space, lay-out and finance for additional off street parking will need to be carefully balanced to avoid conflict with the green environment of the station’s surroundings.”
At Banner Cross, the idea of parking permits was first mooted several years ago, along with the installation of pay-and-display meters in front of shops at the top of Ecclesall Road.
"There is certainly a big parking issue," said Viv Lockwood, secretary of Banner Cross Neighbourhood Group. "Parking meters were considered because many motorists were leaving their cars outside the shops during the unrestricted part of the day and travelling into town by bus to such an extent that trade was being affected. The traders themselves were asking for meters and we supported them. In the end, after a long time coming, it was agreed meters should be installed and that is exactly what will be happening very soon."
Permits, however, were different, he argued. "On the face of it, it seems to be a quick solution to the parking problem but it was pointed out that any such scheme would come with clearly marked road restrictions and that the effect of this would be to reduce the total number of parking places available. Currently, people park on or very close to street corners but this would stop with new markings in place so there would have to be restrictions against those households with more than one car. Any second car would have to park elsewhere and probably some distance away. How popular that would be is anyone’s guess."
Banner Cross is marked by a high density of terraced and semi-detached housing, stretching several streets back from the main road, he observed.
"There are simply too many vehicles to be accommodated in too small an area. Many residents probably do not yet understand the ramifications of a permit scheme. If one is being discussed it will need to be very carefully consulted upon with residents and we would hope to play a part in that."
Nevertheless, he said the group has yet to adopt a stance. "We will wait to be convinced one way or the other. Whatever is finally decided, for or against, there is no doubt that there is no easy solution and that concentrated parking with all the frustration and aggravation that follows it will remain an issue at Banner Cross for the foreseeable future."
At Park Hill, measures are being considered on South Street. These would likely introduced at the end of the road furthest away from the flats development, where parking is already restricted.
Nick Bax, founder of design studio Human which is based at Park Hill, said parking wasn't a problem for the firm. "Within the team, only one of us consistently drives to work on a daily basis, with another vehicle sometimes being used occasionally. The pay-and-display car park at the back of the building, off Duke Street, certainly seems to be busy and well-used by lots of people - residents and visitors. That’s the area our visitors tend to use but we also often see people parking there and heading straight over to Ponds Forge."
The council said it was aware of the issue and was considering options. Detailed proposals will be worked up once feasibility work is complete.