Council Chairman Backs Yellow Lines To Control Hugh Town Traffic

co-op car parkingCouncillors yesterday rejected a proposal to restrict parking on Hugh Street.

Chaiman of the General Purposes Committee, Steve Sims had wanted to add flower planters in the road outside the Co-op.

His proposal was defeated unanimously. Yellow ‘no-parking’ lines will now be painted once the road is resurfaced.

Council Chairman Amanda Martin accepted that some locals feel the lines are not pretty but she said action had to be taken to deal with “the main artery.”

Amanda feels that yellow lines are “a fact of life” and they have been a feature in Scilly for years.

Cllr Sims argued that the floral planters would improve the appearance of town and appeal to tourists more than yellow lines.

Steve’s planters would have narrowed the roadway but not as much as parked cars do. Extra width would mean freight vehicles wouldn’t have to mount the walkway and they were a cheaper solution than widening the pavement, he said.

Many opponents of the plan argued that disabled drivers would find shopping difficult if they couldn’t stop outside the Co-op.

But yesterday Steve told councillors they’d still have a shorter distance to walk than mainland shoppers.

Cllr Amanda Martin said that the Council needed to assist people with real mobility issues but there were some locals who could make an effort to carry their shopping further than they do.

Despite strong views for and against the plan, only 6 of the 11 councillors on the General Purpose Committee attended the vote.

The Island’ Partnership received 33 responses over the plans and Amanda Pender told the meeting that there had been equal numbers for and against the idea.

But most councillors spoke of widespread opposition.

Cllr Andy Guy undertook a massive amount of work researching local opinion. He picked 121 people randomly on the electoral roll and called them.

Only one person backed the planter scheme, he said. The rest said no.

Sergeant Colin Taylor explained that our Council is one of only a handful that hasn’t taken on parking enforcement. It remains a criminal and police matter in Scilly.

He advised that the legislation “is an invitation” for the Authority to take it on and patrol as they wish.

Whilst he was assured that issuing a few tickets would be enough to encourage compliance, he told the meeting that parking issues will not become a police priority.

Colin says the police won’t issue tickets every day and he doesn’t know how regularly his team can patrol.

But he says when they’re in Hugh Street doing other duties they’ll look out for parking offenders.

Drivers will still be able to stop on the lines when loading although Colin says that is complex. For example, he says, it can be taking or collecting a package from the Post Office, but not a letter.

Cllr Chris Thomas pointed out that a vehicle regularly parks in Hugh Street advertising a business.

Cllr Martin says a lot more thought needs to be given to a long-term solution and Steve Sims says he hopes they will be able to revisit traffic management and the town’s appearance soon.

Steve feels if there’s money available in the future, Hugh Street could still be made into more of a public space.

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