CARDIFF Council has been urged to make sure public transport is up to scratch before launching a new parking scheme in the city.
The local authority announced last week that it is looking to bring in a new zonal parking system aimed at tackling congestion in the city and encouraging more people to use public transport.
Four new zones will be created if the plans are approved, each with their own parking restrictions, and residents will have to reapply for new parking permits.
The proposed scheme was looked at in more detail at a Cardiff Council environmental scrutiny committee meeting on Thursday, January 11.
Councillor Bethan Proctor said: “I just wanted to stress how important it is that alongside that… we really need to ensure that public transport across the city and across the region allows people to conveniently and affordably get to where they need to go.”
Cllr Proctor said she fully supports the idea in principle, but feared it could have an impact on city centre businesses.
She added: “Many commuters are driving because they have got no other viable option.
“The buses and the trains aren’t always reliable enough, they are not always affordable enough, so people end up driving and I think if we don’t entice them to use other forms of transportation, there is that risk that workers will then work from home and that then is going to have a huge negative impact on the city centre and the surrounding businesses.”
Each zone will be contained within the area south of the A48, west of the River Rhymney, east of the River Ely and north of Cardiff Bay.
It is also hoped the scheme will make it easier for residents to park on their street or adjoining roads.
Cardiff Council officer, Chris Hanson, said at the scrutiny meeting: “A managed parking plan can help stimulate local businesses… by providing the capacity on street for a turn over.
“Having a full street of cars effectively doesn’t support local business in that respect. What you want is a full turnover.”
A public consultation on the scheme will be launched if cabinet members give it the green light at a meeting on Thursday, January 18.
Cabinet member for transport and strategic planning, Councillor Dan De’Ath, said that as the zones are gradually introduced “we should hopefully see… things like secure urban cycle storage, bus franchising… [and] a re-invigorated car club for example”.
He added: “There are things to make life easier for people. It is not all stick. There is some carrot in there, too.”
The new zonal parking scheme proposes that terms and conditions and types of parking permits currently available will change.
All residents who currently have a permit would need to reapply for a new zonal permit which is specific to the road or area where they live. Those who want to park a motorbike on-street will also have to apply for a permit under the new system.
For visitor parking, each household will only be allowed to apply for 150 days of visitor parking each year.
Community on-street permits would be applied for by certain places of worship or disability access groups that are exempt under specific legislation.
There would also be a business permit for on-street parking.
Only businesses that have a property in the outer parking management area would be able to apply for this and it would only allow a business owner to park vehicles that are needed for the day-to-day running of the business.
There are two types of carer permits being proposed for on-street parking, one for professional health and one for personal care for those who qualify.
Existing schools in the outer parking management area would be able to apply for an on-street school permit to park a vehicle that is needed for the operational running of the school.