Parking in a jam
Urgent calls have been made for more legal off-road parking spaces to be provided in Bingham before wardens return to the streets in May to start issuing tickets.
Bingham action group Community Concern is worried the decriminalisation of parking laws and a shortage of legal long-stay bays will lead to residential streets and carparks being swamped.
Rushcliffe Borough Council has signed an agreement with Nottinghamshire County Council for wardens to issue parking tickets from May.
Community Concern has already presented a petition of more than 1,300 signatures to Rushcliffe borough and Nottinghamshire County councils calling for more off-road parking.
A second petition of more than 300 names asked for help in dealing with parking problems in residential areas.
Their concerns will be taken into consideration by a borough council member panel, which has been set up to look at the options for off-street parking throughout the borough.
Community Concern is expecting to be actively involved with the member panel, bringing first hand accounts from those affected.
The group’s spokesman, Mr Dennis Briggs, said they were pleased the borough seemed to have taken on board their points.
But the group fears there will not be enough time to put into force any recommendations made by the panel, such as providing more off-road parking, before wardens start work on May 12.
Mr Briggs said: “There is a shortage of car parking in the town. This leads to a loss of trade for town centre businesses, drivers park in residential areas and park illegally.
“The situation will deteriorate when the civil parking enforcement scheme is introduced next year and when the Mill Hill development becomes occupied, a population increase of over 10%.
“We can expect even more cars parked in residential areas and potential business customers choosing to use other towns.”
Mr Briggs said the councils should assess the number of parking spaces needed to service the town, now and in the future, and then provide the necessary spaces.
He said if additional spaces were not made available immediately and fees introduced, then parkers would use residential areas.
The members panel is expected report back to the council’s cabinet in the spring.
The borough’s property and design manager, Mr Joe Timmins, said the panel would consider the concerns raised by Community Concern.
Mr Briggs said they were less pleased with the response from the county council after the county councillor for Bingham, Mr Martin Suthers, presented the petitions on their behalf.
He said they were given an acknowledgement to the petitions rather than a proper response.
A spokesman for the county council, said it appreciated local people’s concerns.
He said the council would carry out a high-profile publicity campaign in the run-up to the changes to inform residents and encourage people not to park illegally.
He said: “Effective parking enforcement discourages limited waiting car parking spaces in town centres being abused by long-term parking from local employees and prevents able-bodied motorists using on-street and off-street spaces allocated for disabled drivers.
“We are looking at the possibility of setting up informal park ride schemes, which involves an agreement with owners of private carparks for their facility to be used for a parking at certain times, to help alleviate the problem.
“Other options to improve the parking in the town include a rail park and ride scheme into Nottingham city.”
More by this authorPeter Harris