PARKING policy in the streets around Musgrove Park Hospital should be 'resident friendly' and not designed for 'the convenience of commuters', according to a LibDem district councillor

People in and around Taunton's Comeytrowe area reckon motorists driving into work and parking in their streets are making their lives a misery and creating road safety issues.

The county council is looking into the matter following complaints from people in the College Way area, while hospital bosses are urging staff to be considerate.

Cllr Simon Nicholls would like to see parking banned for an hour at peak times.

He said: "Let's have a 'resident-friendly' parking policy that puts the needs of residents before the convenience of commuters.

"The daily frustration of having commuters parking outside our residents' houses, making it hard to manoeuvre to and from drives, restricting visibility at junctions, visitors unable to park, sometimes impeding bus routes or access by recycling vehicles, should be taken seriously and treated as more important than free parking for commuters."

Cllr Habib Farbahi wants restrictions across the whole area to prevent commuters simply using other streets to park.

He added: "If commuters are forced out of our roads, many will look for other solutions to their journey to work.

"More would use park and rides, making them more commercially viable.

"Why should residents have to subsidise park and rides through their council tax while commuters park in their streets?"

Independent councillor John Hunt has raised the subject with a senior traffic engineer at County Hall.

A Somerset County Council spokesman said: "We will be undertaking a review of parking across Taunton later this year. This feedback is helpful and will be considered as part of the review.

"The review will provide an opportunity for residents and business across Taunton to make comment as to what changes if any are required to on road parking."

Simon Rigby, Musgrove's associate director of estates and facilities, said: "Unfortunately, like many hospitals, Musgrove doesn't have the space to provide enough parking on site for all of our colleagues, patients and visitors.

“While we provide some parking for colleagues, we encourage them to use alternatives where possible such as the park and ride scheme, car share, cycling or walking in and a drop-off facility where possible.

“If staff do choose to park in the nearby area we ask them do so with respect for our neighbours and to drive and park considerately and safely.”