Plans to introduce permit-only parking in the car park next to Ebbw Vale Town train station have been revoked by Blaenau Gwent Council this week, after a petition signed by almost 3,000 people called for the proposals to be scrapped.
The plans to introduce new parking arrangements for the car park adjacent to the General Offices in Ebbw Vale were due to take effect from September 20, however the plans were met with widespread opposition from residents who claimed it could seriously affect future use of the station. You can read more about that .
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The offices, based on the site between the Ebbw Vale Town platform and Coleg Gwent Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone, have seen an increase in use over the past year, when a vaccine centre opened during the pandemic, along with the relocation of council staff to the new democratic hub located on the first floor.
Under the proposals, use of this car park would have been restricted to workers or visitors holding a valid permit, and general use of the car park would have ceased. While t is a smaller carpark directly opposite that does offer some free spaces, many who catch the train on a regular basis feared it wouldn’t be enough during peak hours.
At the time, the local authority said no objections were made about the restrictions during the consultation period.
Residents vented their frustrations by voicing their opinions online and starting a petition that gained almost 3000 signatures in less than a week.
In a statement, Blaenau Gwent council said it had revoked the plans following public feedback and acknowledged that the consultation arrangements had “fallen short” in this case.
The statement said: “We apologise and acknowledge that in this case the consultation arrangements with the public have fallen short of our normal standards and your expectations. This has created unnecessary public concern and confusion amongst users of this popular car park which many people use for business and leisure travel purposes.
“The General Office site is currently being used by the Health Board to deliver the vital Covid-19 vaccination programme. We are pleased that the current parking arrangements with our partners in Health can continue as we support the autumn vaccination programme.”
Councillor Dai Davies, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development and Councillor Joanna Wilkins, Executive Member Environment, jointly commented on the situation earlier this week.
They said: “We know the importance of easy access to car parking facilities near the vital transport hubs located in Ebbw Vale Town and Ebbw Vale Parkway. We are committed to reviewing parking provision in the area and listening to residents and our communities so we use your views to inform the council’s approach to longer term and accessible car parking provision. As a result, we have asked Officers responsible for infrastructure to identify more suitable alternative proposals for the area which fully consider the views of all stakeholders.
“We must ensure that parking provision balances the needs of residents and local businesses including maintaining an adequate supply of spaces. The overall local transport plans also need to be considered including our active travel strategy and decarbonisation agenda to reduce the impact of car use on the environment in the longer term.”
Do you think it was the right decision to reverse these proposals? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Source: Wales Online