Following a consultation on a proposed ban on overnight vehicle parking at Mead Lane, Saltford in 2017, on 1st August 2018 BaNES Council released its decision to drop all proposed restrictions. The residents of Mead Lane lobbied the Council for these restrictions, but following objections including by liveaboard boaters BaNES decided that there was no evidence of anti-social behaviour that residents claimed banning overnight parking would deter. Boaters who need to moor at Mead Lane and use vehicles to get to work or take children to school would have been the most adversely affected by the proposed restrictions.
Among other things the Council’s decision report dropping the proposed Traffic Restriction Order stated that:
“We have not seen any evidence as to how vehicles parked overnight are leading to anti-social behaviour or how removal such parking would prevent it from happening”;
“Since some people using the moorings may own a vehicle, particularly those who are boat dwellers, they have a need to park. The level of parking seen in Mead Lane has not been observed to cause a problem to passing traffic”;
“It is therefore recommended that the proposed parking restrictions should not be implemented”.
The full Objection Report and Sign Off are here
The moorings at Mead Lane will remain at 14 days despite efforts by the residents of Mead Lane, ward councillors and Saltford Parish Council who lobbied BaNES Council to reduce the mooring stay time at Mead Lane from 14 days to 48 hours earlier in 2018. This was despite the success of the mooring trial in 2017 which saw 80-85% compliance with the 14 day limit by boaters. This land, which is owned by BaNES Council, has been used by boaters for many years and is one of the few safe moorings on the River Avon.
This followed a meeting between boaters and local Councillors in April 2018, and well presented pressure from liveaboard boaters who contacted BaNES and spoke at a Council meeting. This convinced councillors to take a more balanced and fair approach and consider the needs of the boating community and recognise the importance of the Mead Lane moorings.
Apart from an area of bank by a willow tree and a small stretch that does actually belong to one of the residents, all the existing 14 day moorings are remaining in place. The addition of a Quiet Zone will help to allay the concerns of local residents. The situation at Mead Lane will continue to need a degree of self policing by other boaters to ensure everyone complies as much as possible, to continue to ensure that there is no genuine adverse effect on the local residents.
Boaters convinced BaNES Council that if all the moorings were to become 48 hours, the majority of users would be hire and leisure boaters, which would be likely to result in more noise and disruption for the residents. Due to the meeting in April, Councillors were able to see liveaboard boaters as reasonable people just trying to live, rather than the image that the residents have conveyed, and that reducing the limit to 48 hours would be counter-productive as boaters need to be sighted on the River Avon to avoid enforcement action from CRT, and know CRT do not police 48 hour moorings frequently enough for accurate boat sightings to be recorded.