The 15 free car parks across Bristol where charges could be introduced as part of council review

The review would see questionnaires sent to car park users and nearby businesses

A review of free parking at 15 council-owned sites will be carried out under a plan set to be approved as part of Bristol City Council’s 2022/23 budget.

The survey would aim to determine if it was feasible to introduce charges at the car parks across eight wards in the city.

It would also ask if the time limits imposed aligned with the city council’s parking strategy, and if they deterred long-stay parking.

The council also said the proposed review would form part of it drive to encourage active travel and reduce carbon emissions throughout the city.

But the idea has already been met with concern in one area set to be impacted, Westbury Hill, where traders said it would ‘kill even more business’.

The proposal comes as the council attempts to plug a £19.3million gap in its recently published 2022/23 budget.

The free car parks set to be reviewed are:

Avonmouth, Shirehampton and Lawrence Weston

Clayton Street, 45 spaces

Ridingleaze, 20 spaces

Waverley Road, 37 spaces

Brislington West

Callington Road, 23 spaces

Repton Road, 14 spaces

Eastville

Alexandra Park (currently closed), 24

Fishponds

Beechwood Road, 67 spaces

Stoke View, 40 spaces

Hartcliffe and Withywood

Queens Road, 14 spaces

Henbury and Brentry

Machin Road, 21 spaces

Lawrence Hill

Ducie Road, 44 spaces

St George West

Chalks Road, 59 spaces

Derby Street, 45 spaces

Stockwood

Harden Road, 30 spaces

Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze

Westbury Hill, 104 spaces

In response to the proposal, shopkeepers in Westbury Hill said charges to the car park would have a detrimental impact on business in the area.

They said the car park is ‘always rammed’ with shoppers and patients from the nearby doctor’s surgery.

Ian, who co-owns C J Computing and did not wish to give his surname, runs his business opposite the car park.

He said: “This certainly will affect the whole area and the shops within it dramatically. It will kill off more businesses.

“Just over Christmas, around 10 to 15 spaces were already wiped out when the Council painted double yellow lines on the main street.

“Trading is hard enough as it is these days. I’ve been here 30 years and if it gets any harder I’m going to retire.”

A person working in a nearby shop, who did not want to be named, said: “There are lot of banks here and they’re mostly used by elderly people.

“It’s always super busy here but I reckon that will change if they start charging customers to park here.”

The paper on the review of free car parks is part of the budget proposal for 2022/2, set to be considered by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday (January 18) - it can be viewed here.

The proposal states: “Parking Services plan to undertake a survey of all district car parks where parking is currently free to determine if it would be feasible to introduce pay and display charges.

“The purpose of the exercise will be to determine whether the existing time limited restrictions in the car parks were effectively delivering key aspects of the parking strategy and deterring long stay car parking in these locations.”

In an assessment of the potential impact of the review, the council said pay and display charges would affect all users of the free car parks.

Questionnaires will be sent out to car park users and nearby businesses if the review of the car parks is approved.

The council already hopes to save £500,000 by scrapping 30 minutes’ free parking in Resident Parking Zones such as Clifton Village, Southville and Bedminster East as part of its budget for 2022/23.