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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Parking changes would remove yellow lines from Carlisle's historic quarter

Unsightly yellow lines and signs will disappear from Carlisle’s historic quarter if a new parking regime is approved this week.

Carlisle historic quarter photo

Cumbria County Council has been considering making the area around Tullie House Museum and the cathedral a “restricted parking zone” since 2007.

Now, following a public consultation, the plans go before councillors on Thursday.

The effect would be to prevent parking or waiting anywhere, other than marked bays, in Fisher Street, Market Street, St Mary’s Gate, Annetwell Street, Abbey Street, Paternoster Row, and most of Castle Street and West Walls.

The restrictions would apply to disabled blue badge holders too.

The proposals create some new lengths of blue badge-only parking and loading bays, and also disc spaces to meet concerns from businesses that reducing on-street parking would deter shoppers.

These disc spaces are likely to be converted to pay-and-display when the council implements its new policy, approved last month, to charge for on-street parking in town centres.

A report to the council’s Carlisle local committee says: “The existing parking arrangements are such that many park, often using blue badges, and load in inappropriate locations.

“This results in obstructions to through traffic and detracts from the appearance of this historic part of the city.

“The proposals would ensure that all parking and loading took place only in the designated locations.

“They would also enable the removal of the yellow lines and signs thus enhancing the appearance of the area.”

Councillors will consider 25 consultation responses before making a decision on the plan.

Of these, five are in favour or neutral, six request minor changes and 14 opposed the scheme.

Nine objections were from members of the public and Cycle Carlisle, arguing that the proposals encouraged car use.

Four residents said the zone would do nothing to stop motorists driving around looking for a parking space.

And one resident claimed the scheme favoured disabled drivers and the council had failed to justify the changes.

The proposals were supported by three businesses in Abbey Street, Cumbria Tourism and the Diocese of Carlisle.

Cumbria Police opposed the creation of extra disc spaces in Annetwell Street and wanted West Walls to be made one way.

The report to councillors, written by environment and community services director Jim Savege, says that opposition is “limited”.

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