Why do we have huge parking problems in Uplands?  Students.

That’s one way of looking at it.  Another is:

Why do we sometimes have no parking problems in Uplands?  Students.

When students depart, remaining residents can park. Other areas of Swansea are chock-a-block all year round and if the students in our neighbourhood were replaced with permanent residents wanting daily access to their cars, we’d be in the same unlucky state.

The student issue is part of the problem; many factors contributing to our parking woes:

  • There’s a lot of open, unrestricted space, which in term time is often taken up with the cars of students who don’t really need them and ought to not bring them at all. The Sustainable Transport Officer at the University tries hard to press this message, as do we.
  • Any remaining unrestricted space is often filled by commuters. People working for the University, the hospital, local shops and other businesses may have other options, such as park-and-ride or staff parking on site, but why would they pay when Brynmill offers space for free?
  • Resident Only bays are in some places over-subscribed, not providing enough space for everyone who has a permit. Yet during the working day they are often empty, while …
  • Non-residents stopping briefly for shopping, visiting, school-runs etc have nowhere to park.

We think Swansea should follow the example of other high-density areas around the UK, where nobody expects to park for free unless they live there or have a disability.  Climate emergency and residents’ well-being mean we have to encourage people to consider other options before bringing a car to Uplands.

We believe that limited free parking encourages visiting and trade; that commuters have many choices available but currently low motivation to consider them; that students often bring cars they don’t need but have nothing driving them to remove them; that residents with permits should have space when they need it.  So, we think that making a large area of Uplands, between Walter Rd in the East, Sketty Rd in the North and Brynmill Lane in the West, into a controlled zone, could help.  In this zone there could be the same restrictions everywhere, to allow the most flexibility:

1 hour free.  Pay and display for longer.  Residents exempt.

At the same time, we have a dreadful situation with short double yellow lines on many corners, allowing parking so close to them that visibility is reduced.  This leads to many accidents – some minor, some not – and near-misses, particularly when combined with speeding.

When we last showed the Leader of the Council around the ward and showed him these problems, he was very supportive of us taking action to improve parking and speeding, but of course money has to be found for an extensive community consultation as well as for any actual works.

In late June 2019 we met with the Cabinet Member responsible for this area of council work, Cllr Mark Thomas, and an officer from Highways.  We discussed the problems and our ideas, and officers will be considering them.  There will also be speed testing done on Bernard St and the roads parallel.  We look forward to reporting back on progress.