I read with interest in the Tenby Observer, that the parking problem in Serpentine Road was discussed at the Tenby Town Council January meeting, and a number of solutions were suggested for consideration.
The council minutes of December 2008 record that members would meet with Mr. John Price, PCC, on December 12, to discuss traffic concerns regarding Serpentine Road. Before members of the council discuss the proposed solutions to the problem of traffic flow and parking in Serpentine Road, surely they should have first, in the interests of democracy and transparency, contacted the residents by way of a questionnaire or arranged a meeting between council members and residents and asked for their opinion, as whatever is decided will impact on residents' lives.
I am sure we all recognise that there is a problem, and that priority must be given to child safety, and anything done to eradicate the inconsiderate parking will benefit us all.
I have been a resident of Serpentine Road for many years and remember some years ago, the then local county council carried out a trial temporary one-way system, running from Heywood Lane to the Maudlins, with parking only permitted on the east side of the road. This allowed the much wider and safer footpath on the west side to be used by parents with children and buggies. School coaches were not held up by parked or oncoming vehicles, therefore allowing a free flow of traffic, causing no hold-ups. This allowed traffic at the end of the school day to clear much quicker than at present.
At the end of the trial, we received no feedback from the council.
The first proposal suggested is that a white line will be painted down the centre of the west side footpath marking an area for pedestrians and vehicles. This will reduce the designated space for pedestrians, and secondly will give motorists a legal right to park half on the footpath and half on the road. I know it is not illegal for a motor vehicle to park on a public footpath. If this option is chosen will it be restricted to fixed hours in the morning and afternoon, Monday to Friday, during school term?
The second proposal suggests that the double yellow lines be extended from Heywood Lane into Serpentine Road. I think it is a sensible idea; however there are two factors which must first be overcome.
Firstly, educating local drivers that double yellow lines do not indicate a parking area, and secondly, traffic wardens. The sight of a traffic warden patrolling the streets of Tenby is getting as rare as the UK winning the Eurovision Song Contest. When you have the rare privilege of seeing one, he is usually walking around carrying his uniform cap in his hand (maybe it doesn't fit), but I am often surprised that some traffic wardens pass the stringent medical on applying for the job, as some are obviously colour blind in relation to the colour yellow.
I read in the Observer some years ago a letter from a Mr. Lawrence who walked behind a traffic warden while he just walked past vehicles parked on yellow lines. Well things have not improved; unfortunately this still happens. Maybe if he put his cap, it may help him see the yellow lines.
So unless the proposed restrictions are enforced, I see no point in spending council money on this.
Local council will say that local PCSO's patrol the area, which they do, but that's a toothless tiger; we need a traffic warden there to enforce the restriction. Is it not about time that the county council took over the responsibility of traffic wardens, as in other council areas?
May I suggest that before a decision is made, that consultation should take place with residents and other interested parties.