July 4, 2022 12.28 pm

Council drops Lincoln Bailgate resident parking changes

A sudden twist after a revision to controversial plans

Lincolnshire County Council has dropped its plans for more resident parking in the Bailgate area in uphill Lincoln.

Council officers were adamant the impact of the revised plans would be less harmful than the original, however, some councillors were still not convinced.

The controversial idea would offer priority to those who live in the Bailgate area, between Newport and the junction with Westgate.

Currently, anyone can park in these areas for an hour between 8am and 6pm Monday to Saturday, however, the latest changes to the scheme would have seen two existing parking zones extended for residents’ use.

Parking Zone 4A would see waiting bays on Chapel Lane and Westgate reduced by eight from 13 to five, while permit bays would increase from 21-31. This would also mean the council could increase the number of permits competing for the spaces from 60 to 76.

Meanwhile Newport along with Church Lane, Northgate, Bailgate and Eastgate would see the number of limited waiting bays increase from 68 to 70, but permit bays would also be increased from 33 to 46 by extending parking permit zone 4G and creating a number of dual bays. The number of eligible permits would jump from 50 to 134.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Planning Committee on July 4. | Image: Daniel Jaines

Officers said the scheme would give permit holders the ability to park close to their homes, but admitted it would reduce on street parking for visitors whose “custom supports the businesses and local economy, although to a lesser degree than proposed originally.”

Ward councillor Rob Parker (Labour) said government policy supported creating place and local businesses.

He also pointed to a fragile economy. He said the spaces were used by frequent visitors for shopping, rather than tourists.

However, he said the scheme would benefit “substantially” residents.

He said other schemes have reduced alternative nearby parking and affected their ability to “conduct their lives in an acceptable manner”.

Fellow ward councillor Karen Lee (labour) said the parking “has an impact on the lives of residents” as well as businesses.

“To simply say this is about the businesses isn’t appropriate,” she said.

“The residents have demonstrated that they will share and that’s admirable.”

When they were originally announced, the plans divided opinion uphill.

However, in a sudden twist, Chairman Councillor Ian Fleetwood opted to propose “Option C… Leave it as it is”.

He said that way “the local residents can enjoy what they currently have, the businesses can enjoy what they currently have, and hopefully it will give a way forwards.”

He was backed by Councillor Paul Skinner who said: “There is a lot of pressure on both residents and businesses. Pressure the businesses feel is also from the internet. So I think it’s a very sensible suggestion.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Tom Ashton said he was “deeply troubled” by any suggestion of changing the use to resident parking.

He called it “uninspired” when placed in a “premier shopping street” in Lincoln.

Those against the plans had said the scheme would deter people from visiting the area and pose a threat to the viability of businesses.

They were backed by organisations such as Visit Lincoln and the Federation of Small Businesses.

However, those in support said the area was mainly residential and that the current parking offer discriminates against those living there.