Sunday, February 2, 2014
It’s time to end the parking issues that have plagued the areas around St Neots railway station and come out fighting for a solution.
That’s the aim of Councillor Barry Chapman and he is calling for residents to help him.
Cllr Chapman has set up a survey to gather people’s experiences with the “chock-a-block” parking in the Longsands Road area, to identify the causes and collate suggestions from residents about how to reach a consensus about ending the misery.
“It is a problem that has been outstanding for years and years,” he said. “We were trying to solve it 15 years ago. One of the problems that we constantly come up against is that although people recognise this is a problem, what’s the solution?
“I thought that the best way of identifying the preferred solution would be to ask everyone. I’m asking residents in the Longsands area to help me fight for improvements by completing the survey.”
It’s a hot topic. In just six days, Cllr Chapman has received more than 100 responses. But opinion is already divided on how to solve the issue – 24 per cent support limited waiting periods of two hours between 7am and 6pm, and 16 per cent would want residents-only parking permits, which would incur an annual charge.
A smaller minority has also backed a blanket ban on parking in the streets or other restrictions.
Many have raised the issue of the cost of parking at the railway station, causing commuters to look for alternatives.
Cllr Chapman said: “I was elected to the county council in May and I’m pressing them to intervene in this debacle. It is just not good enough for county highways and First Capital Connect to ignore the impact of exorbitant commuter railway parking charges.”
A spokesman for First Capital Connect, which charges £7.70 for a daily parking ticket at St Neots, said: “We understand that there is a real issue with problem parking in residential streets and we want to help. That’s why we froze the car park prices at the station this January.
“We offer motorists the convenience of parking in a secure environment close to the railway station and charge for it accordingly – a monthly ticket which costs £129, works out at £4.30 per a day.”
Many of the roads are bumper-to-bumper with parked cars, narrowing the roads – some of which are on bus routes – and making it difficult for drivers to see around bends.
Cllr Chapman added: “Many people say they can’t get their car out of their drive and can’t park near their homes. A lot of people regularly nearly have fisticuffs with commuters that park there – they just crack when it’s the same people parking at 7am every morning in front of their window.”
INFORMATION: To complete the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/DMW856P. Cllr Chapman also has paper copies – contact him on 01480 212540.