Peterborough City Council, East Ward
Councillor Stephen Goldspink


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New Campaign Launch

7/20/2009

Councillor Goldspink today launched a campaign on behalf of the beleagured residents of Ashcroft Gardens and Briar Way, to relax parking restrictions around Park Crescent

 Footway blocking in Ashcroft

Councillor Goldspink said, “Ever since parking restrictions were applied to Park Crescent some two years ago, with the primary intent of stopping parking by Regional College students who could not park on the campus, the overflow parking has transferred from Park Crescent to the Eastfield Road end of Ashcroft Gardens and Briar Way – with appalling consequences.” 

 

“Students park half on the footway and half on the road, presumably in an attempt to keep the narrow road and junction clear for traffic.  This in itself shows that the area is not suitable for parking, never mind the fact that there are two junctions and several entrance ways there.  The upshot is that the elderly, disabled and mums with pushchairs are often forced to walk on the road because the footway is obstructed.  The road itself is still narrowed to an extent that causes problems for many vehicles, particularly larger ones.  Nothing can be done about the footway obstruction because it is a moving vehicle offence and the police, who are the only ones who can enforce this offence, have to see the vehicle actually mounting the kerb to park before they can do anything.  In any case, the chance of getting the police to give sufficient focus to this problem is slim, and even if they did, the problem would recur once they left the scene.” 

 

Councillor Marion Todd, who is supporting the campaign, said, “The Regional College have provided some additional spaces since the problems started, but not enough to make a significant difference.  When residents and councillors initially raised the problem with Council Officers, one solution discussed was to put yellow lines down at the junction, but it was clear that all this would do would be to displace the problem further down the streets – which would impact on other residents.  Officers from the traffic department counselled against doing anything that displaced the problem.”

 

Councillor Goldspink continued, “I challenged the traffic department about why the issue of displacement had not been considered when the restrictions were applied to Park Crescent, and astonishingly, in a moment of extreme candour, I was told that they did raise this issue with Park Ward Members but were told to ignore it and introduce the restrictions anyway.  I do not know whether that statement is true, but the truth is that allowing some unrestricted parking on Park Crescent, a wide, long road with ample clearance for vehicles and few junctions, must be better than forcing parking away into narrow, winding streets with junctions and entrances at regular intervals.  It may suit the residents of Park Crescent and their Ward Councillors to dump this small and irritating problem on another area, but it was irresponsible of the Council to go ahead with the restrictions and introduce considerable danger to all road users at another location.  It may even amount to maladministration.  ” 

 

 “I have had numerous complaints about the issues caused by this parking, and introducing yellow lines will just push it into another unsuitable area.  There is parking for approximately 150 vehicles on Park Crescent, but most of the road is now restricted by a “Monday to Friday, 8am to 11 am, 30 minutes parking, no return within an hour”; outside Park House and Astoria Park residential homes there are short stretches of residents parking only.  Therefore, it seems to me that the best answer is to correct the original mistake and relax the restrictions around about 25% of Park Crescent, to allow the 30 to 40 vehicles currently causing danger to relocate to a safer place.  This could take the form of unrestricted parking, or perhaps introducing special bays and parking for students.  No doubt residents and Members of Park Ward will resist this idea, but I call on them to have some thought for those who have had danger and nuisance dumped on their doorstep, and take a pragmatic and reasonable approach.”

 

“I have spent a while considering how best to approach this matter, and have decided that a campaign with several different action fronts is the best way forward.  This will hopefully bring publicity to the issues and encourage a serious response from the council.”

 

“Therefore, I will be lodging a formal complaint with the Council alleging maladministration when the Park Crescent restrictions were introduced.  I will also be inviting the Cabinet Member, Peter Hiller, and the Director, Paul Phillipson to come and take a look at the problem and speak to residents in East Ward who have been affected by this quite deliberate transfer of a problem from one area to another.  Residents will be preparing a petition to the Council and asking questions at Council meeting, engaging in letter writing campaigns and possibly protests on the street until this absurd and dangerous situation is corrected.”

 

“One thing is certain – the pressure will continue until the residents of these streets in East Ward have a solution that puts the parked vehicles in a much more appropriate, and less dangerous, place.”

Posted: 7/20/2009