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Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council

Tourism in Bourton-on-the-Water

By Sue Cretney Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council

Friday, 7 December 2018

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Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council Contributor

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Parish Council response to recent articles concerning tourism in Bourton-on-the-Water

2018 saw increased visitors to many UK destinations with our village being no exception. This growth brings both positive and negative effects on the community with Councillors tackling the issues that directly arise through the powers afforded to them, alongside delivering activities and projects to improve the parish.  Council’s remit is broad yet can be limited, funded in the main from council taxes and grants. Tourism is only one of the many areas overseen and we acknowledge that a sustainable tourism approach would be valuable in helping to maintain the village as an economically thriving and pleasant place for residents to live and work. With this in mind, Council has decided to canvass the views of the community by way of a survey early in 2019. In the meantime, we hope this article provides information to help the community understand what the Council has done and has plans to do.

Waiting Restrictions:

Following a review of traffic and parking by Council in 2018, Gloucestershire County Council [GCC] has agreed to implement a Transport Regulation Order [TRO] that will provide a refreshed suite of double and single yellow lines on parish roads. The cost of these works will be in the region of £20,000 of which the PC will fund £9,000. Residents will be invited to view proposals in 2019.   

Village Centre Parking:

Council’s traffic and parking review identified changes that could ease village congestion by discouraging visitors from entering the village. We also identified changes to the parking bays on the High Street that we believed would benefit both residents and disabled drivers. Unfortunately, we have been informed that parking is subject to a future County wide review thus no changes can be considered in the current TRO.

Resident Parking schemes / Parking permits:

Council is aware of some resident support for parking schemes and recognises that there could be improved arrangements however, schemes that enable resident only parking or permits is subject to a future County wide review.

Car Parks:

Cotswold District Council’s [CDC] current policy is to share revenue across the district and spend money on various projects which includes improvements to council owned car parks.  

The Cotswold School grounds, Cricket Club grounds and British Legion car parks are privately owned and can be used for car parking for the statutory 28 days allowed. We are mindful that this temporary offering assists the clubs and societies with funds to exist and be of benefit to the community.

There is no licence granted for parking on Manor Fields that can be revoked. Despite significant parish opposition in the past, planning permission on this privately-owned land was granted for the purpose of parking for 14 days in addition to the statutory 28 days allowed. Council fully acknowledges the increased visitor numbers this brings but cannot change planning approval.

Congestion due to coaches, buses and mini buses:

There are clear signs that prohibit access to the village and give directions to the car parks. The prohibition also applies to any vehicle with 9 seats or more, with the exception of public service vehicles. Mostly, coaches park in the Station Road car park however, Councillors have spoken directly to offending drivers, taken photographs and, where appropriate, written to the coach company.

We have raised the matter of an unprecedented number of mini buses entering the village to drop off and pick up passengers and are awaiting a response from the Department of Transport.

Council has passed the suggestion to re-site the public service bus lay-by to a different location on the High Street to GCC.

The car park on Station Road is privately owned with the coach parking area leased to CDC.

Parking Enforcement:

With the help of residents, Council actively captured photographs and logged issues with GCC parking enforcement department which helped us secure some additional enforcement time. Council are of the opinion that significantly more enforcement time is needed and is currently exploring options with GCC.

Signage:

As there are parking bays available in the village centre, we cannot deter drivers from using them and, as mentioned, village centre parking is subject to a future County wide review. In the meantime, Council has asked GCC to improve the signage to provide visitors with clear directions to the car parks in Station Road and Rissington Road. We have also asked the Visitor Information Centre to give directions to car parks on their website.

Planning applications:

There were no planning reasons that allowed Council to successfully object to the application to convert the previous Lloyds Bank premises to a fish and chip restaurant and takeaway. However, CDC did take note of Council objections regarding the quantity and type of signage.

Speeding Vehicles:

Council has approved the implementation of an ANPR system and an article about this has been published in the Browser. Whilst this exists to deter speeding drivers, it may also serve to dissuade mini buses and coaches from entering the village centre.

Byelaws:

Parish byelaws have been refreshed and will be implemented soon.

Council looks forward to engaging with the community in 2019 and welcomes everyone to attend parish council meetings which are held regularly in the George Moore Community Centre.

Contact Information

Sue Cretney

Find Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council

The George Moore Community Centre, Moore Road, Bourton-On-The-Water, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AZ

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