PARKING charges may be contributing to dangerous parking in the town centre and jeopardising the safety of pedestrians, according to angry Uttoxeter residents.
Problems arising from short-stay parking charges may be contributing to unsafe town centre parking, a town resident has said.
This follows concerns raised by the parking reform action group that high parking charges are ‘strangling’ the town centre economy and causing a parking ‘free-for-all’.
The exasperated Uttoxeter resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “Will people really jeopardise the safety of pedestrians just to park their car for free?
“A footpath is what it says it is – for foot passengers on a path.
“Why is it then that people think it is ok to park on waste land next to a public footpath in between the Steeplechase public house and the old Wheatsheaf public house?
“Not only do they park there for free but drive down the public footpath to do so.
“The drivers are not thinking about the safety of people who walk down the path to get to their homes; including the elderly at Mellor Lodge and families making their way back from Tesco.
“Parents and toddlers also regularly use this route.”
The parking reform group is urging councillors to reform the parking policies, both to stop dangerous parking and to help revitalise the town centre.
David Denny, chairman of the parking reform action group, said: “It is with continuing concern that I read the glib and frankly disinterested comments by ESBC spokespersons in response to criticisms of their parking policy in Uttoxeter.
“The Parking Reform Group, and the town council have both urged the borough council to take action to stop the strangulation of the town centre economy.
“It should be pointed out that central government is urging borough councils to reverse high parking charges to help revitalise town centres.
“ESBCs ill advised parking policies have failed in Uttoxeter, more shops than ever are empty.
“Add to this the fact that the past draconian approach to policing illegal and dangerous parking has failed also it appears - noting the recent comments by the Uttoxeter police that they are stepping in to implement their own ticketing campaign to stop the ‘parking free for all’.
“It’s obvious that the entire parking strategy for Uttoxeter has failed the town, for anyone visiting the town centre.
“It’s time that the local councillors and businesses took up the reins again and got the parking revision back on the agenda again, because there is a point in time at which Uttoxeter town centre cannot return to its former vitality, and that is fast approaching.”
An East Staffordshire Borough Council spokesman said: “The Council cannot enforce parking on waste land, but only where is a restriction, for example where there are single or double yellow lines and a Traffic Regulation Order is in place.”