SPC responds to calls for safety measures at green amenity space - Saltford Parish Council

For the safety and benefit of both residents and visitors, SPC has responded to numerous requests to take measures to improve safety at the green amenity space adjacent to The Shallows car park. As it is B&NES Council land, SPC has been working with the B&NES Council Parks and Green Spaces team over recent months to achieve this, with the support of Saltford’s B&NES Ward Cllr Duncan Hounsell. This area is often referred to as Saltford’s ‘village green’ and is located in Saltford’s Conservation Area.

Before and after shots of the green space adjacent to the historic ‘Willow Cottages’ on The Shallows

SPC first resolved and requested this action several years ago, and is pleased that action is now being taken using SPC’s Community Infrastructure Levy funds (i.e. income separate from that of the precept).

In response to the concerns raised, wooden bollards will be installed by the pavement/highway and around the car park to protect the green space from unauthorised parking. This will help ensure that the green amenity space can be enjoyed safely by residents and visitors to the area. Wooden bollards were chosen as their appearance looked sympathetic with the natural environment and conservation area.

This action follows multiple concerns and complaints being raised to both SPC and B&NES Council’s attention. Safety and access concerns have been raised frequently, particularly during periods of good weather, due to the high number of vehicles parking on the green amenity space surrounding The Shallows car park.

Concerns included that during busy periods, some drivers of vehicles regularly mounted the pavement or curb to access (or exit) the green space to park, which created safety concerns for those using the pavements and also for those sitting on (e.g. picnicking) or playing on the grass itself.

Wooden bollards at the picnic area, which is now protected from vehicles parking, helping it become a safe space again especially for children to play

At peak times, it was noted that the whole level area by the car park was regularly being parked on, even when people were sitting on the grass nearby (as pictured below). This was a safety risk to people – especially children playing – and due to this eventually entirely removed the amenity space from those who wished to enjoy it as intended on most good weather days.

The decision to place bollards around and near the car park to protect this amenity space was discussed at Saltford Parish Council meetings, where members of the public were welcome to attend and speak about the proposals prior to the Council’s decision. Please find copies of agendas and minutes on (or linked from) SPC’s ‘Meetings – Agendas and Minutes’ page.

SPC will fund the cost of the wooden bollards using £7000 from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Funds, which are used to enhance Saltford’s community facilities, amenities and infrastructure. The installation work is being carried out by B&NES Council’s contractors, as appointed by the B&NES Council Parks and Green Spaces team.

Work to install the bollards started in March and will take c. 1 week. Alongside standard bollards, in due course matching drop bollards will be in place for access by the B&NES Parks team to maintain the area, as well as for access to those who carry out water safety training at this location (e.g. Avon Fire and Rescue Service, Saltford Scouts etc).

1st Saltford Scouts doing water safety training in 2022 – their access to this area for this purpose will be maintained via ‘drop bollards’ – same for Avon Fire & Rescue etc too

As well as protecting the green space from vehicle parking, discussions are taking place with the B&NES Council Tree and Woodland Delivery Manager to eventually plant some trees and shrubs amongst the bollards to further enhance the natural landscape at this location. It is hoped that all these actions together will improve and protect the environment at this location, which is considered by many as Saltford’s ‘village green’.

Parking information

SPC encourages residents and visitors to visit Saltford’s river side areas by foot, scooter or bicycle if possible, due to the historic nature of the narrow roads in the Conservation Area.

The majority of the highway by the river has double yellow lines to ensure safe access and to prevent gridlock as seen previously, especially to aid access for large emergency vehicles. Sadly the statistic is that on average someone dies in the river in Saltford every two years. SPC is also aware of numerous ‘close calls’ where emergency vehicles have required blue light access to those unconscious or unwell in the river. As such good access is vital.

Limited parking is available in The Shallows car park and on a section of The Shallows highway adjacent to the car park, which includes three disabled parking spaces. New seasonal parking charges were introduced in November 2022 at The Shallows car park to help aid turnover, in part due to issue of vehicles being left for long periods taking up available parking space.

The B&NES Council car park signage clearly states that all vehicles must be parked in marked bays in the car park, and the sign details other terms and conditions of parking.

Parking can be logged via MiPermit, details on how to use MiPermit can be found on the B&NES Council website here. The Shallows is a priority area for B&NES Enforcement Officer visits and SPC is aware that several fines have been issued, including on vehicles parked on the grass in the past (the Traffic Regulation Order that introduced the double yellow lines means that those parking on the grass beyond the lines at any location are subject to Penalty Enforcement Notices (fines) by B&NES Enforcement Officers (traffic wardens)).

Further signage and road markings about parking at this location are clearly displayed on the highway, and all visitors to the area arriving by vehicle are encouraged to check signage before leaving their vehicles.

Please note that vehicles using The Shallows car park for business purposes will be subject to penalty charge notices by B&NES Parking Enforcement. B&NES Council has stated that businesses wishing to operate from the car park must do so with the express written permission of B&NES Council. No licences have been issued and therefore any businesses or their clients using a vehicle to operate from this car park may be in contravention of the off street parking order and their vehicle may be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). The operation of a business from this car park reduces the availability of spaces for visitors to park to enjoy the local amenity.  For further information, including about local public transport, please see SPC’s Visitor Information page.

Image of people enjoying this amenity space as vehicles continue to park around them raising safety concerns (photo summer 2022). Background shows how entire space has been taken over by parked vehicles
Resident photo sent to the Parish Council showing how all the green amenity space has been taken from those looking to sit, play or picnic due to parked vehicles. Vehicles often mount the pavement from the road to park on the green space, creating safety concerns for pedestrians also.
Map showing how the entire green amenity space around the car park is parked on, causing access issues for those appropriately parked in marked bays and also preventing the access often required by those permitted to use the two disabled parking spaces (bottom right corner).
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