EARLY in 2002 – yes, fully 12 years ago –Wiltshire Council proposed changes to parking regulations in the city.
Its reasons were first to “regulate and restrict the use of parking places” and secondly “to reduce traffic circulation and maximise the use of spaces for city centre businesses and residents”.
The council has certainly restricted the use of parking places for able-bodies people but whether it has reduced traffic circulation so as to benefit city centre businesses and residents is debatable.
The abolition of the Market Place for parking and the closure of the bus station have certainly changed the accessibility of the shops to people who live some distances outside the city.
With the bus stops at regular intervals along some stretches of streets, the roads have become glorified bus stations but lacking toilet facilities.
Parking is simply not permitted within a short walk of many shops.
Traffic circulation is fine if you enjoy making a tour of the city to get from one part to another. The one-way circulation ensures there is no short cut.
To add to the complexities, there are the over-zealous traffic wardens equipped with their cameras.
They make sure that the slightest infringement is punished with a penalty charge notice.
It all makes Salisbury appear to be an unfriendly, unwelcoming city – but remember Wiltshire Council is based many miles away in Trowbridge and the question of whether the council cares has only one obvious answer.
JM Rosselli, Winterslow
SATURDAY saw one of my rare visits to Salisbury.
I parked in Brown Street car park and found I did not have the correct coins for the ticket machine.
I saw a notice that I could pay using my mobile phone and a credit card. But I could not see any information on how to do so.
I eventually found a notice on the side of an adjacent ticket machine.
While making the required text message, I fortunately realised that the instruction notice referred to location number 700193 (Brown Street), applicable for parking on street, whereas I was parked in the car park, which was location number 700179 (Brown Street car park).
Wiltshire Council’s aggressive parking enforcement policy causes enough stress to visitors as it is, but this seems to be another cynical attempt to take advantage of people who wish to pay but are confused by the myriad of signs around the ticket machines.
The council has failed to provide the one necessary sign to enable them to pay for parking correctly and thus avoid a fine.
Patrick Costley-White, Porton
I HAVE been approached this week by local representatives who would like to see Brown Street car park transformed into a coach park to boost our tourist industry.
There have also been concerns expressed to me that foreign coaches stopping in St John’s Street to set down passengers have coach doors that open into the road and unwitting tourists have stepped off the coach into the oncoming traffic.
Your elected councillors need to hear whether you would support the loss of Brown Street parking spaces to shoppers and evening visitors parking there in favour of supporting tourism and our local businesses, and hear any other modifications to this plan or your other ideas.
Cllr Dr Helena McKeown, Wiltshire councillor for St Edmund’s and Milford division