A RADICAL approach to solving parking problems in Hedon is to be investigated by Hedon Town Council.
The council is to set up a Working Group to discuss whether the idea of a free or subsidised transport service carrying people into the town centre from Hedon’s outer areas, is a practical option that ought to be explored further.
Explaining the idea in simple terms, Councillor Neil Black said the service would go round the town regularly and provide an easy way for residents to get into the town centre, rather than using their cars. This would free up car parking spaces elsewhere in the town. It was recognised by other councillors that such a service would be extremely useful for those living on the Leaf Sail estate, particularly for children getting to and from school rather than parents doing their daily ‘school run’ in the car.
The biggest obstacle to launching such a scheme is the costs of it. It could be very expensive to set up, manage, run and maintain. The Working Group will look at how such a scheme might be funded. One idea is to tap into the resources that might be released if the Hull City Council Park & Ride scheme obtains funding from the Regional Transport Board. A pragmatic view was offered by Councillor Black; if the Park & Ride scheme becomes inevitable, then rather than fight it, some clear benefits for Hedon could be negotiated.
Other schemes do exist across the country that provide such a community transport service which usually partner other providers i.e. the local authority, bus companies, taxi firms, or existing bus and mini-bus operators. Existing bus services might alter routes and timetables to better meet community needs. Large local employers might contribute to a community transport scheme in return for ensuring that buses deliver workers on time for shifts. Social service and community operators with unused capacity (buses) might be willing to do extra trips for sufficient recompense.
So maybe the radical approach is indeed the practical approach!?
Of course, a key ingredient in the success of any scheme, is making sure in advance that people would use it:
If a bus would be regularly running around Inmans, Westlands and Leaf Sail – would you use it to travel to Hedon town centre and leave your car at home?