Monday, 7 May 2018
Hundreds back campaign for "urgent" review of parking
A SPATE of parking fines has prompted calls for a review of the restrictions at Chelmund's Cross.
In recent months there have been numerous reports of people visiting the village centre and being slapped with a ticket because they were unaware they were not allowed to park at certain locations.
Businesses and community groups have been pressing Solihull Council to act following instances of their visitors being caught out, calling for the restrictions to be made clearer and for more spaces to be made available.
The local authority announced last month that it was putting in double yellow lines to help clarify where drivers can leave their vehicles, and will also be holding a wider consultation into the current parking arrangements.
The Three Trees Centre is among the organisations to have voiced concerns and claimed that "badly signed" restrictions had cost the venue visitors. A blitz on vehicles during evenings has caused particular frustration.
In a recent tweet, Three Trees said: "One has to admire the diligence of @SolihullCouncil in sending parking officers out late at night to target our users.
"If only similar diligence was used to address the wonky slabs, broken bollards and bent lamp posts outside our building."
Last month, further pressure was put on highways officers, when a petition (including almost 470 signatures) was presented by Chelmsley Wood resident Heather Turner-Croft.
She told Full Council that locals were very "disappointed" by parking provision at the recently redeveloped site.
"It is like getting 100 people into a phone box," she said, referring to the number of available spaces.
"Some of the [Three Trees] activities are suffering severely due to the lack of parking and parking fines.
"I do not wish to see the community go downhill and die, we have enough problems in society without adding to it."
Urging the council to look at the issue as a matter of some urgency, she suggested an amnesty after 6pm and at the weekend and called for the creation of more bays and facilities for disabled people.
Councillor Chris Williams (Green, Chelmsley Wood) said that concerns had mounted that "an awful lot" of tickets had been issued to people.
He said that the frustration centred on the fact that notices, advising that parking was restricted to designated bays, were easy to miss as people drove into the centre.
"There would be a particular problem after dark and also there’s the fact that with places like a doctor’s or dentist’s people might only tend to visit occasionally," he said.
The concerns prompted discussions with highways officers, with an agreement reached over double yellow lines.
Coun Ted Richards, the cabinet member for transport and highways, said that now the Chelmund's Cross development was complete, both on-street parking and the number of disabled spaces would also be looked at by his department.
"During the planning stage of this development... it was agreed that we would provide limited parking provision in the area to promote more sustainable local journeys either by foot, bicycle or by using public transport.
"I will be asking that officers work closely with both residents and local members over the coming months to ensure that the area is accessible as possible so the village centre can flourish for many years to come."