Options to tackle parking issues in town centre to be discussed
5:30pm Monday 21st January 2013 in By David Wiles
OPTIONS to tackle the long-standing problem of parked vehicles clogging up roads and blocking driveways in Old Walcot are to be presented to residents at a meeting this month.
Residents and councillors say those who work in the town centre park on the estate during the week to avoid paying car parking charges.
They say there is a similar problem on match days, when football fans leave their cars in the area and walk to the County Ground.
Following a consultation in November, asking residents for ideas to reduce the problem, Swindon Council is to hold a meeting at at Churchfields Academy on January 30, at 6pm, for officers to present worked-up, costed options to residents and get feedback on the ideas.
Coun Mark Dempsey (Lab, Walcot and Park North), who organised the meeting, said: “I think as car ownership has increased, it has got worse but it’s got to the extent where residents cannot park their cars where their driveways are being blocked.
“Where if they’ve got service people visiting or visitors visiting they cannot find a parking space, and where corners are being blocked, causing blind corners, which are dangerous to motorists and pedestrians.”
He said some of the mitigation ideas suggested by residents included some form of residents’ parking scheme, the introduction of yellow lines, and maybe some form of limited parking to deter commuters.
Coun Dempsey said: “It’s more complicated than just one option and I think we need different options for different roads. And what’s important is residents have the final say on anything that’s put in place.
“It’s important people come along to the January meeting. Any proposal after the January meeting will go back to residents for full formal consultation.”
Mike Townsend, 73, of Upham Road, who has lived in the area since 1955, said the problem had developed over the past five or six years, and had become worse since parking restrictions between 8am and 10am had been put in place in Lakeside.
The former railway worker said the parking problem was bad in Bampton Grove and Burford Avenue, as well as in the narrow Cumberland Road, where delivery vehicles drive on verges and churn up the grass to get past parked vehicles safely.
He said: “It’s access really for people. One or two people I know living in Burford have had people partially blocking their drive, it’s virtually made it impossible to get a car in and out of the driveway.
“The thing I’m concerned about is obviously it’s not as easy for the council people, like the refuse collection and recycling people, to get around, it might be awkward for them. One or two roads are really tight.”
He said he would like to see parking restrictions between 10am and noon to stop people parking all day.
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