HC Deb 28 July 1965 vol 717 cc455-6
20. Mr. David Steel

asked the Minister of Transport what local authorities have now approached him regarding parking schemes based on the use of discs.

Mr. Tom Fraser

Only Cheltenham.

Mr. Steel

Has the Minister carried out a study of the use of disc schemes in Continental cities? Is any comparative work going on between the use of discs and parking meters, in relation to the financial outlay and efficiency in the provision of parking space?

Mr. Fraser

We are well aware of what is going on in Continental cities and, over the years, the Government have advised local authorities of these developments. The former Government sent out a memorandum in 1961 and a circular in 1962. In March of this year the present Government sent out a bulletin called "Parking in Town Centres" to all local authorities. In that bulletin we suggested the various systems which might be employed by them to deal with this problem.

Mr. Bellenger

Would my right hon. Friend welcome additional schemes from local authorities which desire to try out other methods of parking, or is he inevitably wedded to the idea of parking meters?

Mr. Fraser

In the bulletin which we sent out a few months ago we indicated that disc parking was one system which might be considered by local authorities. If local authorities put forward suggestions, as Cheltenham did, we, of course, shall be glad to consider them. I assure my right hon. Friend that we do not impose our wishes or possible prejudices on local authorities in this matter.

Captain Litchfield

Would the right hon. Gentleman look at his records again to see whether the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has not put forward proposals of this kind? Would he accept two points: first, that the introduction of parking meters in residential districts can create real hardship for residents and, secondly, that the interests of residents from the parking point of view should take priority in any scheme which is in the interests of others?

Mr. Fraser

I will certainly look at my records again to see whether I have misinformed the House. I have given the House the information which is now available, that only Cheltenham has proposed such a scheme. However, on the wider question raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman, I must leave some work to the local traffic authorities and the matters to which he has called attention are matters within the responsibility of those authorities.