NEW forums are being set up to address the long-standing problem of commuter parking in the roads close to St Neots station.

The areas around Longsands Road, Bean Close and Child’s Pond Road – as well as other nearby streets – have been used as a free car park by rail commuters for years.

Residents have campaigned unsuccessfully for restrictions that would force commuters to find alternative parking spaces, and now claim that the situation is worse than ever before.

While Cambridgeshire County Council has introduced lunchtime parking restriction on the Scholars Avenue estate west of the railway station, Longsands Road has been left without any such restriction and residents want to see that changed.

Bean Close resident Denis Gail said: “I’ve lived here for 40 years and things have never been this bad. It’s so bad I can’t even get in and out of my drive. The bin men have trouble driving down Longsands Road and have been known to send a special van to pick up rubbish.

“Parents have nowhere to park when they pick up children from Longsands Academy or Priory Road Junior School. The roads get gridlocked on a daily basis and something needs to be done.

“Sooner or later there is going to be an accident. The residents have all paid their taxes and deserve better.”

Last year an investigation was carried out following a 178-signature petition calling for parking restrictions of 30-minutes on “all roads within reasonable walking distance to the station”.

But CCC’s highways authority concluded that “parking should only be prohibited where there is a safety or access problem to be addressed”.

Mr Gail is also concerned that the cost of parking at St Neots station – £7.25 a day – is just making matters worse.

St Neots town councillor Brian Allen, who lives on Child’s Pond Road, said: “We’re fully aware of what’s happening and the effect it’s having on people. I would encourage people to come forward and express concerns.”

CCC highways engineer Sharon Piper said that any scheme would have to be “third-party funded” because no money was available at Shire Hall. But added she would work with the town council and listen to suggestions.

■ What is the solution to commuter parking in St Neots streets? Send your views to editor@huntspost.co.uk or write to The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon PE29 3TB.