Parking chaos as spaces are cut

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 14 February 2014 Updated: 14/02 09:58

RESIDENTS and businesses in Church Hill are facing a parking nightmare after the number of spaces in the new district centre were cut by two thirds.

The design of the £3.55million centre was slated at a recent PACT meeting where residents said having only 36 spaces compared to 114 at the old shops, was causing major issues for those parking there.

Disruption while new homes and a road are built and a lack of parking for parents dropping their children at the two nearby schools were also cited as problems.

Some said they were having issues getting to and from the new medical centre and shops on foot as delivery lorries and other vehicles were blocking access routes while others alleged drivers were parking at the centre then getting the bus elsewhere, further reducing the amount of spaces available for shoppers.

Ian Johnson, Church Hill PACT vice-chairman, said: “We had 114 car parking spaces before they changed everything, we have now got 36. That is one hell of a drop, no wonder people are parking anywhere they can.

“Some of the 36 are being taken up by the doctors themselves. They have got allocated spaces but while delivery vehicles are there the doctors can’t get their vehicles out and they’re on call.”

Coun Pat Witherspoon added the development was privately owned meaning the borough council had little say over what happened there, adding volunteers were needed for a walking bus to Abbeywood First and Church Hill Middle Schools which would alleviate some of the issue.

“If you look around the town, most of the schools have got the same sorts of parking difficulties and unfortunately it’s the way of life unless we can educate people to not come in their cars. Most of them could walk but won’t.”

An Assura Group spokeswoman said: “As managing agents we are closely monitoring the usage of the car park. We are currently awaiting delivery of appropriate signage which will be erected imminently.

“We will consider further measures to regulate visitor parking if necessary.”

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