November 3, 2021 12.15 pm

‘Marooned on a council created island’: Resident against Bailgate businesses’ parking petition

A resident’s view on the situation

A woman who has lived in the Bailgate area of Lincoln for over 30 years, feels is “marooned on a council created island with nowhere nearby to park” as a petition from local businesses continues against plans for a residents’ permit scheme.

Permits were previously requested by residents and would mean they will have parking priority between Newport and the junction with Westgate, where anyone can currently park for an hour. It would mean uphill shoppers would have to find somewhere else to leave their vehicles.

Local businesses in uphill Lincoln are worried about the impact this will have on trade, with a four-week public consultation by the county council currently ongoing. The Bailgate Area Guild, which is made up of all the businesses in uphill Lincoln, launched a petition against the proposals, with signatures soaring to over 1,000 in recent days.

When The Bailgate Area Guild met on Monday evening (November 1), members voted unanimously to work together to ensure that the scheme is not approved.

Businesses are worried that the changes would limit the amount of spaces visitors can use to pop to the shops. However, one resident told The Lincolnite that she feels the issue of parking for those who live in the area has not been fully represented.

The woman, who has owned a terraced house in the Bailgate for over 30 years, and wished to remain anonymous, said: “Whilst parking always meant a walk, new restrictions with areas nearby recently giving residents parking status means my neighbours and I are now as if marooned on a council created island with nowhere nearby to park.

“So for those living here, not just visiting for an hour or so, this situation has a day-to-day impact that needs resolving. A car is necessary for trips to shops for us too.

“The situation was inevitable when nearby streets have over recent years been allocated residents’ parking but this small area, mainly terraced houses with no garages, was excluded (or overlooked). Suddenly these homes have become marooned.

“It is not a historic situation, it has evolved. These homes are occupied by local residents, most working locally or retired, and their needs should be considered.”

Bailgate area of Lincoln. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Regarding parking for businesses and shops, she added: “The proposed scheme does ensure there is still free street parking allocated in the area. Most significant, however, is the fact that there are car parks steps away from the Bailgate shopping area, all with ample car parking spaces.

“The suggestion that the first hour is free or reduced, as at Marshall’s Yard in Gainsborough, for example, where the first hour is 50p, seems eminently reasonable.

“Indeed, if such an incentive scheme was well promoted this would potentially draw even more visitors to the area. The residents’ parking permits would also raise additional income, so I doubt the council would actually be out of pocket.

“Improved public transport and cycle hire schemes would help too, surely something to be taken on board especially with our current stated concerns about climate change.”

When asked if the residents’ permit scheme could help alleviate issues for residents, she added: “Absolutely not. There simply are not enough spaces allocated to this zone.

“The letter to residents even states in bold font ‘it is highly likely that the permit holders will outnumber the spaces within Zone 4H’. The council needs to address this recognised problem now not later and look to open up new spaces.

“Chapel Lane, for example, has an extremely wide path for no apparent reason and I am sure there are other options too. Or perhaps local council car parks in the area could be made available at all times to residents with permits. It would be rather ironic though if residents had to use visitor car parks and visitors were given free parking areas, but that is the situation now.”

After a public consultation by the county council, a decision will then be made and The Guild hope their petition can help to influence what happens. When The Guild met on Monday evening (November 1), members voted unanimously to work together to ensure that the scheme is not approved.

Nicola Lockwood from the Bailgate Area Guild. Photo: Daniel Jaines

Response from councils

Jeanne Gibson, Programme Leader – Minor Works and Traffic at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “A request to look at incorporating permit-only resident parking in the Bailgate came to us from City of Lincoln Council in 2018.

“After some initial outreach with the residents in the area in 2019, we found that the majority would support this.

“As a result, proposals were developed. These were originally meant to be consulted on last spring, but this was delayed until now due to COVID.

“No formal decision has been made on these yet. Once our current consultation is complete at the end of November, the proposals and consultation findings will be presented to our Planning and Regulation Committee in early 2022 – when a decision on how to proceed will be made.”

Simon Walters, Director for Communities and Environment at City of Lincoln Council, said: “Some time ago, residents in uphill Lincoln approached city and county councillors asking if it would be possible for residents’ parking to be explored for their area.

“Lincolnshire County Council launched a consultation with uphill residents to examine the appetite for such a scheme in the area. This came back with a majority in favour of pursuing a residents’ parking scheme.

“The onset of the covid pandemic prevented the county council moving to the next stage until now. Their current consultation is a technical one related to how such a scheme would work.

“We understand that once the consultation is complete, a report will go to Lincolnshire County Council’s Planning and Regulation committee for its members to make a final decision on whether or not to implement residents’ parking in the area.”

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