A discussion on the Mannin Line about parking in Douglas between Michael Josem and Andy Wint on 27 April 2021.
The full episode is online here:
A rough and unverified transcript:
Andy Wint 0:00
Parking is something that excites lots and lots of opinion. Michael Josem is with us from the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance. You’ve been keeping your eye on parking, Michael, I guess what was the story about circular road?
Michael Josem 0:13
Hello, Andy, good to be here with you. And yes, so last week, there was a proposal by the by the island and government’s department of infrastructure, and Douglas Borough Council who teamed up because they wanted to abolish and to remove one of the car parks, it’s been there for more than 10 years. And it’s, I think I recall as a surprise that the government is, is wanting to actively remove car parks that have been, you know, operating without much problem for the last decade or so
Andy Wint 0:41
which car park particularly was it?
Michael Josem 0:44
So it’s a site that 37 to 41 circular road if you know Ashcroft’s, the old store there, opposite where Thai Thai restaurant is. It’s it’s just there.
Andy Wint 0:57
I see. So what’s happened now? Is the car park going to stay? Is it going to go? What What’s the story?
Michael Josem 1:04
Well, what seems to have happened is that yesterday, and we’ve only just had this confirm this morning, the lead planning committee has rejected the the attempt by the dry and Douglas Borough Council to remove it. And they’ve given it planning permission to exist for at least another five years, which is good news for Douglas. citizens. It’s good news for Douglas residents, good news for Douglas office workers.
Andy Wint 1:26
And what do you think really
Michael Josem 1:27
a victory for common sense? Yeah.
Andy Wint 1:29
What do you think was behind wanting to get rid of I mean, car parking? Is that something of a premium in Douglas?
Michael Josem 1:36
Yeah, absolutely. And so and so I think it’s that these people here in the in the, in the government, they, they want to promote their active travel. And that’s fine. If you want to produce and enhance, and complement transport by building new services to cyclists or pedestrians or public transport, that’s great. But this should not be a war. And it should not be a war where you try and sabotage alternative transport mechanisms. And so we need it, we need a transport system that works for different people at different times, different vehicles or no vehicles at all. Rather than, you know, trying to remove, you know, alternative options.
Andy Wint 2:14
What’s your opinion about active travel? Do you think it’s, I mean, don’t mix my metaphors, but has it got legs?
Michael Josem 2:21
Well go ride my bike around town. And it makes sense for me, because I’m a pretty, pretty young and pretty fit sort of God. But there are other people who have you know, children that Who are you know, other people who are a little bit more frail people who are coming from further afield people who are not so not not so resilient to the hills and the weather that we sometimes get here in, in the Isle of Man. And so that’s what what’s really important is we have different transport services for different people. And what might work well for a middle aged man in lycra might not necessarily work well for, for a mother of three or father of three is trying to take the kids into town to buy school shirts.
Andy Wint 2:57
And what’s the story about parking in Peel as well?
Michael Josem 3:02
So I’m not sure what you’re talking about this specifically.
Andy Wint 3:05
I just thought you had a story about something in Peel as well. What’s going on there?
Michael Josem 3:13
I’m not not sure what you mean? Oh, maybe? Yeah,
Andy Wint 3:15
Sorry. Oh, sorry. about that. Sorry, different caller. That was a different caller. Oh, Michael, listen, I can’t let you go by unless I show you the $64,000 question. And you know what it is? What’s the question? Are you going to be? Are you going to be standing in the house of keys general election in September?
Michael Josem 3:38
Oh, I don’t know. Maybe? Possibly? I haven’t really, you know, made a decision either way.
Andy Wint 3:45
Well, you started yesterday, you stood at the by election in Douglas south, you’ve got within a hair’s breadth of becoming an MHK.
Michael Josem 3:55
Yeah, you’re looking right, until I might well do it. But, you know, I’m not really interested in the, in the politics of it all. I’m more interested in policy. And, you know, and today, you know, it’s good to chat to you about the importance of having, you know, transport systems that work for everyone, and not just a select few who can, you know, ride their bike or can you know, who are fit enough to, you know, walk and so on. So we need different things for different people. And so, you know, to answer your question about the politics of it all, I don’t know, in order to be honest, I
Andy Wint 4:21
really care. I’m more interested in the in the policy. Interesting. Well, thanks for bringing that to our attention as well. We appreciate your opinion, Michael.
Michael Josem 4:30
Thank you, Andy. Keep up the good work.
Andy Wint 4:31
All right. Good to talk to you.