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Cardiff’s permit gate pilot scheme showing results despite ‘teething problems’

Crystal Glen in Llanishen, Cardiff used to get heavily congested before a permit gate scheme was brought in (Pic: Google Maps)

A COUNCIL scheme designed to stop drivers using a Cardiff residential street as a rat run has faced teething issues, but is showing results according to a local councillor.

Cardiff Council ward member for Llanishen, Cllr Bethan Proctor, said Crystal Glen often used to be highly congested during the rush hour before the permit gate pilot scheme was brought in last year.

The Labour councillor said residents had since reported a reduction in traffic levels, but some issues needed ironing out.

Bethan Proctor, Labour councillor for Llanishen, Cardiff (Pic: Ed Barnes)

Some drivers have reportedly received parking charge notices (PCNs) when they shouldn’t have and carers are required to apply for daily permits.

At a Cardiff Council environmental scrutiny committee meeting , Cllr Proctor urged council officials to learn from the 18 month pilot scheme as there had been “teething problems”, many of which stemmed from “issues with technology”.

She added: “We need to get that right before we implement any other kind of parking or transport scheme.”

Cardiff Council’s cabinet has given the go ahead to a draft parking plan for the city which could see the introduction of four new parking zones – each with their own restrictions – to increase parking opportunities for residents and encourage more use of public transport among commuters.

Under the new scheme, which will go out to public consultation, residents living in the new zones will eventually have to apply for new parking permits.

Before the Crystal Glen permit gate was brought in, people would often use the street as a cut through to get between Heathwood Road and Ty Glas Road.

Explaining what it used to be like, Cllr Proctor said Crystal Glen would be “completely backed up” at times.

The permit gate area goes from the Heathwood Road and Crystal Glen junction to the Ty Glas junction with Fishguard Road.

A camera, located roughly in the middle of this area, monitors which cars pass through, with only permit holders being permitted to do so.

Permit holders can apply for visitor permits, but applying for a permit every day for carers and friends or family members acting as carers could sometimes be a burden.

Cllr Proctor added: “What we found was there were situations where people were having to apply daily or forgetting to apply.

“They have got busy lives, they are caring for family members or they just want to run down to the shop at the end of the road, but running down to the shop means crossing the camera and then you have to apply for a permit.

“Those [people] are not the people we want to be fining or penalising.”

Cardiff Council said that under its new parking scheme, carers who needed to access Crystal Glen would be able to apply for a carers permit.

Cllr Proctor said she hoped this carers permit would be the “final piece of the puzzle” in making nearly everyone happy with the new scheme.

She said: “The messages that we have had from residents about traffic reducing is really good to hear because that was the aim of the scheme – to stop people using [Crystal Geln] as a rat run.

“Generally people are really happy with [it].”

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “This scheme is the first of its kind in Cardiff and despite some teething problems, feedback from local councillors show that most residents are happy with the scheme.

“If any resident believes that they have received a Penalty Charge Notice incorrectly, then they have a right to appeal through an established procedure and the council has been assisting local residents with this process when it has occurred.

“As a separate matter, the council’s Cabinet discussed and agreed to consult the public possible changes to the residential parking permit schemes within the city at its meeting today (18 January).

“Crystal Glen would fall within the Outer Parking Management Area, should the proposals be supported by the public.

“In an Outer Parking Management Area on-street parking would be managed from 8am until 6pm and resident, visitor, business, carer and school permits would be available for eligible applicants.

“The proposals are designed to free up more space for residents while reducing opportunities for commuter parking.

“So in this instance, carers will be able to apply for a carers parking permit in the particular zone required.”