I have written previously about Councillor Andrew Wealls attempts to help the, mainly elderly, bowlers who play matches at the Indoor Bowls Club at the King Alfred. When the parking charges at the King Alfred were extended to 8pm it caused real practical problems. There remained a maximum 4 hour stay, which was obviously difficult when indoor bowls matches often take over 4 hours.
Whilst the bowlers were unhappy about the increased charges, the extension of charging hours from 6pm to 8pm was having the effect of stopping them from playing altogether. Public transport links to the King Alfred are not great, and many of the more senior bowlers are not able to walk great distances.
Bowls matches often start just after 2pm. When the charging period ended at 6pm there was no problem. Bowlers could finish there game and have a coffee and cake with their friends.
With an extension of charging to 8pm, and a maximum 4 hour parking limit, bowlers found themselves unable to park long enough to complete a game. There was a very real risk to the future of the indoor bowls at King Alfred as a result.
Councillor Wealls raised this with parking officials but got knocked back – the ‘too difficult light’ kept coming on. However he was persistent and it looks like a solution has been found. Bowls club members will be issued with a ‘permit’ which will allow them to stay beyond the expiry time of their pay & display parking ticket for a certain time limited period on match days. A mock up of the permit is being run by the Council’s enforcement contractor, to ensure that they are sufficiently easily recognised so the bowls club members are not issued with unnecessary parking tickets.
The solution should be in place before the next match on 6 January.
It is good to see that officials have listened and may be this is a small example of what an excellent and persistent local Councillor, such as Andrew Wealls, can achieve. Oh and don’t always take ‘no’ for an answer!