Residents who say they were not consulted by Bath & North East Somerset Council about the new double yellow lines in Pixash Lane in Keynsham are now left with no choice but to park instead on the busy main A4 Bath Road, which is causing traffic hold-ups.
The Bath Road residents, who used to park in Pixash Lane, have referred the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman who is currently deciding what action to take.
This week local MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said he would make representations to the council and the Government and would be tabling a Parliamentary Question about how the change to parking has affected residents in “such a detrimental manner”.
And local councillor Hal MacFie has arranged a local residents’ meeting for Monday (10th July) to discuss the parking issues brought about by the new £39m waste and recycling centre in Pixash Lane coming into operation.
Bath Road resident Laura Murray told The Week In that the yellow lines both sides of Pixash Lane have removed parking for her and her neighbours, their family and friends, and for delivery and emergency response vehicles.
She gets shouted at by motorists for parking on the main road and has had abusive notes left on her car. There have also been posts on social media which led to threats.
Laura, who has a disabled son, said: “I’m not actually breaking any law. I had a visit from the police because someone had complained, but they agreed my car is parked perfectly legally and understand why I’ve got to do it. The council will not give us dropped kerbs so we can park on the front of our properties on our land.”
She said that none of the residents had been directly notified by the council about the proposed yellow lines and that no site notice had been displayed. A council officer has reportedly acknowledged that he did not contact residents about the proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO).
However, a council director has since maintained that processes were followed correctly, including putting up site notices, and that there is no legal requirement to send letters to residents about yellow lines. He acknowledges in a letter that the new parking restrictions are causing difficulties “but I am afraid the council is not responsible for providing residents with parking”.
He did say however that the council would undertake a review of the parking restrictions to determine whether any changes could be made and would also look at the possibility of introducing a one-way restriction on Pixash Lane and an HGV restriction.
Those ideas, along with Bath Road residents’ requests for dropped kerbs to allow them to park in their front gardens, will be discussed at Monday’s meeting at the Masonic Hall at 6pm to which residents of nearby Ellsbridge Close, Fairfield Way and Harding Place have also been invited.
Laura acknowledges that there is a private lane at the rear of the properties, but her old garage is not wide enough for her vehicle and says that most of the other garages along there are just “muddy pits”.
She said: “A resident recently had to call for an ambulance; rapid response paramedics attended first, only to have nowhere to park because they are not allowed to park on double yellow lines and there was no room for another vehicle at the back of his property.”
As well as the disruption caused by the massive new waste and recycling centre, she also highlighted the “monstrosity” of the care home which has been built on the corner of Bath Road and Pixash Lane and recently opened.
She said local residents’ objections about that were ignored by the council. “We have dozens of windows overlooking our gardens now, I have windows looking into my son’s bedroom and my kitchen.”