The first nail in the coffin of "free" (i.e. subsidised) parking has been driven in with the publication of this summary of the results of the survey of support for Resident's Parking Schemes (RPS) carried out this summer. The map below (click on it to show full width) appeared on Bristol Dave's blog last Sunday morning but has only just been picked up by more, er, mainstream bloggers like Bristol Traffic (later edit - the post on Bristol Dave's blog has disappeared). It looks like it might be a leak since I've not noticed it appearing on any official sites. It's obviously hot stuff so I thought I'd better get in on the act too.
The survey results are amalgamated on the basis of Lower Layer Super Output Areas, or LSOAs. These are small subdivisions of Wards with equal populations designed to give a more area specific presentation of data (e.g. census results). Some of these LSOAs are rather odd shapes (e.g. the LSOA that embraces the Floating harbour which shows up as two red blobs at opposite ends joined by an umbilical chord along Cumberland road). Of course the data could be presented based on differently defined areas, including areas contrived to maximise support for RPSs, which would be the logical thing to do.
So how to interpret the figures. The basic pattern is that support for RPS is strongest on the margins of the existing CPZ and weakens as you move out, which is what everyone expected. But there are anomalies. Why for example is support so weak (less than 30%) in Southville, even just to the west of Goal Ferry Bridge? Why that pocket of quite high support (50%) in Redland? And is there really so little support in Barton Hill to justify a 0.0% score?
It looks like Kingsdown might be a candidate for a pilot project and the area of St Paul's nearest Carboot Circus, and perhaps the area of St Jude's to the east. St Jude's is interesting in that the overall figure for the LSOA is 50% but the LSOA extends right down through St Philips so the north western corner is where support for RPS will be strongest. Also the areas around Jacobs Wells Road and south of Redcliffe Parade show strong support, but some of these will be covered by the proposed extension of the CPZ..
But of course it's not that simple, since the creation of RPSs will tend to shift parking into adjacent areas, exacerbating their parking problems. So should areas adjacent to the chosen pilot project areas be asked again if they want to be included? And if they do, what about the areas adjacent to them? In this way RPS will spread, especially as people realise what incredibly good value it is to pay just £40 a year for spaces worth near £1,000!