AskBoA: We all agree BoA is in need of a solution to a problem so let’s use the current momentum to tackle it
So the vote for the HCZ was a no go, the town clearly spoke, shame for all those who fought hard, you did a good job, truly big pat on the back for trying, moving forward we all agree BoA is in need of a solution to a problem so let’s use the current momentum to tackle it.
So we have a town that is in desperate need of congestion relief, its unfit currently for both pedestrian and driver traffic and is choking local business due to lack of convenient parking and walking from current car parks is unpleasant and a dangerous shopping experience.
What to do, let’s discuss?
Will be expensive and cause upheaval but will move traffic out of town but therefore potential customers away from the town centre, I can understand why that would get resistance, however resistance does not mean that isn’t not the right thing to do or impossible, but considering we just had a vote let’s think of this as an exercise in what the majority of people will find suitable and correct.
This would relieve some congestion in places and spread it around, this would be a very small minimal cost to set up, some white road paint and a few signs! but the speed of traffic would no doubt pick up, but in the unused lanes this scheme would create more parking spaces in town, however, this option too would get some resistance from residences where traffic increases but it is however ‘better’ that what we have now.
A modern way of looking at a toll bridge if you like, but a replica of the CC in London but on a smaller scale in BoA. A minimal amount of upheaval and cost to implement the cameras and an office for screening, volunteers could start the monitoring process followed later by full time staff paid for by the process; screening would not be able to check every car but a high amount at random. Registered local traffic can drive free, commuters and tourists drive at a small fee of say £5 but fined at £30-£50 if the daily charge is not paid, London CC can now be paid on-line but in the early days drivers needed to stop at local shops to pay for the charge, if this approach was adopted this would then encourage customers to stop in the town and visit the shops. Any money generated from the scheme can go towards maintenance and remaining revenue collected could be redirected to town projects and regeneration. The BoA CC should start at the town boundaries with special dispensation for those working in the town but living outside. Commuter traffic could either pay for the charge but I suspect most will choose alternative routes, reducing traffic in town and making current driving and walking in town far more pleasant and less dangerous. Maps can be provide on request for alternative routes, however traffic seemed to manage when floods in BoA town centre were present. Any road works on alternative routes could mean that the CC through BoA is rescinded for a short time.
This approach could also easily be introduced for a trial period for those who have doubts.