Story: Douglas Johnson
18% of residents surveyed in areas around the Northern General Hospital responded to a questionnaire about parking needs. The Council was responding to long-running complaints of parking problems in connection with the hospital.
The areas surveyed included Norwood Rd, Crabtree and Fir Vale, as well as roads running off Barnsley Rd up as far as Hucklow School. Residents further up Herries Rd and in Longley were also consulted. 66% felt there was a parking problem in the daytime but far fewer reported problems in the evenings and at weekends.
However, there are mixed feelings about what should be done. Only 38% think that the permit scheme proposed by the Council is the answer.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t give the Council a clear answer, something the Community Assembly is due to address at its meeting on 21st April. Should the Council drop the scheme since 60% of responses are against parking permits? Or should they try a permit scheme in the areas where there is a clear majority in favour – roads such as Norwood Rd, Crabtree Rd and on Herries Rd itself? Would residents on adjacent roads then want to change their minds? The Community Assembly has received 3 petitions specifically objecting to parking permit schemes in the Cannon Hall – Goddard Hall area, despite residents on these streets feeling the strongest about parking problems.
Of the comments, over 100 people objected to the cost of a permit and many felt the hospital should be doing more. 10% reported no problems at all on their road. Given the lack of action by the hospital to date, the Council has the difficult task of assessing what steps can actually be taken. Many additional comments were supplied. If a new proposal is devised, the Council will clearly need to consult very carefully in the affected streets.
Even if a scheme is put forward, it still has to be approved by the Council’s Cabinet sometime later in the year.
The North East Community Assembly meets to discuss the matter on 21st April at 6pm. However, the size of the assembly area means the meeting is scheduled to be held at Chaucer School on Halifax Rd, a long way away from the residents affected.