The longest ever parking restriction consultation?

Map of restricted parking zone
Plans for parking places on the narrower streets (marked in blue) are still undecided.
It’s now over three years since Swindon Borough Council started formal consultation on parking restrictions in East Wichel, and even longer since the process was informally started. Yet the consultations and arguments over parking rumble on.

For the first round of formal consultation, it took sixteen months for a decision on restrictions to be made, another six months before they were tentatively introduced and then promptly relaxed. A new review of parking in East Wichel started in January 2016, with informal consultation starting in June this year.

Now in the latest updates from councillor Nadine Watts, it’s been revealed that council staff are still working on revised proposals for the parking restrictions, with formal consultation likely to start either in December or the new year. The proposals will include:

  • 61 additional spaces on East Wichel Way and on wider side roads;
  • addition of the mews areas in the parking restrictions.

Council staff are still working on plans for extra spaces on the narrower side streets. Proposals for extra parking spaces in the mews areas that were also in the proposals published in June this year have been dropped.

Allowing for the time it will then take for the council’s cabinet to make a decision — including a period of political paralysis ahead of council elections next May — and then for any additional works for implementation, it is likely that parking restrictions will not be fully introduced until over four years after the consultation process started. It’s almost as though the council has taken lessons in speed and efficiency from the Taylor Wimpey team that managed the construction of East Wichel.