Pool supporters launch petition against Lake Grounds parking charges
By thepickler | Tuesday, August 07, 2012, 09:40
SUPPORTERS of Portishead's open air pool have launched a petition to fight off possible moves to introduce parking charges along the town's seafront.
Volunteers at the pool say introducing parking charges along The Esplanade and the Lake Grounds would put the future viability of the lido into jeopardy.
Currently people visiting or volunteering at the pool can park for free along the seafront and at the Lake Grounds.
But supporters say if charges are introduced it could affect the number of people visiting the pool and in turn, see the trust's income plummet.
They also say it would be unfair to make the scores of people that currently give their time for free volunteering at the pool pay to leave their cars.
North Somerset Council has already agreed to introduce parking charges in Weston-super-Mare town centre.
Under the new regime - due to come into force this autumn - people parking in 28 streets in the town centre will have to pay £1 to park for an hour, rising to £1.80 for 90 minutes and £2.40 for a maximum stay of two hours.
Council chiefs said the move to introduce the parking meters was necessary to regulate parking in the town and followed concerns from traders, shoppers and residents that motorists were flouting existing parking restrictions by leaving cars in timed bays for longer than allowed.
North Somerset's Strategic Planning and Economic Development (SPED) committee is now investigating whether to introduce parking charges in the north of the district.
A report is due before the council's executive member for highways and transport, Elfan Ap Rees, later this year.
Pool supporters have now launched an on line petition against parking charges and are urging local residents to sign up.
Pool volunteer, Barbara Thatcher, said: "North Somerset Council has just approved the introduction of parking meters in Weston town centre.
"It is now very likely that they will also look at parking charges for other areas including Portishead Lake Grounds.
"Currently customers, staff and volunteers can park within walking distance of Portishead Open Air Pool and stay all day if they wish.
"The significant extra cost of parking will lose us customers and the volunteers needed to run the pool.
"We are asking people who care about this wonderful facility, which so many local people fought to save from closure, to sign our petition to ask NSC not to introduce parking charges to the Lake Grounds.
"We are strongly opposed to the introduction of parking charges at Portishead Lake Grounds as we believe it would significantly affect visitor and volunteer numbers at the open air pool and would jeopardise its future."
Portishead Pool Community Trust took over the running of the lido from North Somerset Council in March 2009 after the authority revealed plans to close the pool to save cash.
Since being taken over by the trust the lido has seen the number of visitors using the pool soar to 30,000 each year compared to just 8,000 when it was under the control of the council.
Traders in Clevedon and Nailsea have also voiced concerns about moves to introduce car parking in the north of the district and a number of petitions have been set up by local businesspeople.
The (SPED) panel will consult with town and parish councillors before making any recommendations.
Anyone wanting to sign the Portishead pool petition should log onto