Talking point: Parked here but for how long?

7 November 2016

More than a year ago, a consultation ended on a new parking strategy for Cardiff.

But what has happened to the proposals since? Are they parked somewhere or just stuck in traffic?

The strategy sits on the Keep Cardiff Moving webpage, with a September 2016 date stuck on it, a replica of the 2015 document but with no updates or responses from the public.

We posted this story below on the proposals and how they affected Grangetown. Or rather how they didn’t mention “Grangetown” as such very much at all.


Residents’ parking as it looks now – streets in green and red; and (right) the proposed CPZ map for the inner city area in the strategy.

In the meantime, very welcome jobs are being created nearby in Central Square.

Already though in parts of north Grangetown in particular we are seeing more commuter parking. And no sign of more residents’ parking to deal with the situation or any other transport solutions.

The roads through Grangetown are rammed. Motorists are taking short-cuts off the main roads through the side streets.

Residents who haven’t got permit places can find commuters parked until the early evening, causing inconvenience. It’s also adding to the congestion on local roads.

Here’s what we wrote in September 2015, when the proposals came out:

As it looks, most of Grangetown will lie in a new “outer area” central parking zone – a buffer zone which would be managed on an area-approach. The Taff Mead area is included in the city centre’s central parking zone and could get 75% residents’ parking in streets.

The aim is to discourage commuters from using their cars with a combination of higher parking charges and better management of residents’ parking. Higher parking charges for long-stay parking in metered bays have already come in. The document, going to a cabinet meeting next week, partly aims to “address the negative impacts of illegal and commuter parking on neighbourhoods” as well as obviously cutting down on traffic congestion.

It admits in residential areas, parking pressures can be acute “especially in the evening period, even where areas are protected by residents parking schemes” – and there was also some pressures from commuters

“Appropriate consultation will be carried out on the continuing issue of how to manage a buffer area surrounding the city centre to discourage commuter parking on the periphery of the existing city centre controlled parking zone,” says the report.

That’s the positive news. Unfortunately, in the 68-page report, the word “Grangetown” does not appear once. Except on one map. While student areas like Cathays are dealt with, Cardiff Bay’s mix of commuters and visitors gets mentioned, the issues concerning Grangetown are not explictly dealt with – despite it being on the city centre’s doorstep. Riverside and part of Canton seem to lie comfortably in the inner parking zone. Reading the report a couple of times and looking at the map, it’s taken that we’re in the buffer zone. One map lumps us with Cardiff Bay, but then the discussion accompanying it is about parking in Butetown.

Grangetown’s parking problems – not explicit in the report but known to anyone living there – are these:

  • Daily commuter parking – including on the fringes of residents’ permit parking and in those parts of streets not allowed to have permit parking. Spaces on the streets are congested enough by residents who park there normally.There are worries the higher street meter charges a few streets away will mean more commuters spread out.
  • Matchday parking issues – there is a brief mention of “weekend demand” close to sporting facilties. But there is no mention of exploring matchday parking restrictions around Cardiff City matches, with “nuisance” parking a long term problem for residents in the City Gardens and north Grangetown areas.
  • The need for short-term parking for the Grangetown shopping area – especially at a time it is being enhanced. A recent Cardiff Business School survey for Grangetown Community Action found 77% of local business owners were unhappy with the parking situation.

 

centralenterprise

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Looking at the fast-growing Central Square development just over the bridge nearby to Taff Embankment and a short walk from North Grangetown and Taff Mead, we have:

MotoNovo Finance (424 jobs, expanding to 1,000)
Julian Hodge Bank (120 jobs)
Blake Morgan (182 jobs)
BBC Wales (1,200 staff moving in 2019)
Hugh James solicitors moving across city centre (up to 700 jobs)
Suggestion that HMRC will move from Llanishen (Thousands of jobs)

Also close by is Media Wales (Staff parking has recently been displaced by Deloitte now owning the building)

There is also the Cardiff Central Enterprise Zone neighbouring a large part of Grangetown.

Now the Central Quay development just across the Taff Embankment (pictured above) has been unveiled for the site of Brain’s brewery, which plans to move. It will include offices, hotel and apartments. Public transport is described as “pivotal” to the success – with hopes being pinned on a stop as part of the promised new Metro.

The big development planned for Dumballs Road – further along the embankment – will bring 2,000 new homes.

Not everyone obviously will be bringing a car to work, and most will be encouraged to commute by train, bus or by bike.

But inevitably there will be those who won’t. How many will there be? Does anyone know or can make an estimate? More importantly, how long do we have to wait for a solution?

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