Linslade parking row faces backlash

Parking in Grange Close, Linslade, which is near the railway station
Parking in Grange Close, Linslade, which is near the railway station

Linslade residents who are calling for road restrictions to combat commuter parking are being warned to be careful what they wish for.

Central Beds Council has spent more than a year carrying out extensive consultations with neighbours living in the area and have now come up with a comprehensive scheme.

But it was revealed this week that some residents believed that the restrictions were only aimed at commuters who park outside their homes all day - and wouldn’t apply to them.

When the yellow lines and parking permit operation comes in sometime in the spring some residents won’t be able to park outside their own homes, occasional visitors won’t be able to park either.

To make matters worse no actual parking permits will be issued but number plates will be stored on a database so that daily sweeps by a mobile council snoopers will automatically send out fines. The first you’ll know about it is when they land on the doorstep.

Leighton-Linslade Town Council leader, David Bowater, said that visitors to a recently held surgery seemed to believe that residents would be exempt from the rules.

“After months of complaining and calling for action we now have people saying that they don’t want parking restrictions. We had someone complain that shift-workers will have to get out of bed to move their cars and that those who can’t use their drives won’t be able to park outside their homes. Well, that’s right.

“They seemed to think the parking restrictions would apply only to commuters. There will be nowhere for a delivery driver to park, nowhere for someone who wants to just drop in on a friend.

“Daily parking permits can be bought but they will have to be arranged in advance.”

Mr Bowater said most residents in Linslade seemed happy with the plan devised by Central Beds Council but people living in Orchard Drive, Grange Close and Woodside Way are to be asked a third time, just to make it absolutely certain, what sort of parking scheme they want. The town council is paying £10,000 towards the scheme.

One Grange Close resident, Graham Gill, has already protested because planned yellow lines wouldn’t allow him to park outside his own home.

On the LBO website one contributor responded: “The parking proposals are ludicrous and not justified to implement such restrictions on residents. The idea is to stop commuter parking but the CBC are just forcing certain residents to receive daily parking tickets.

“It may be true about the percentage of fellow residents wanting yellow lines but these are the residents who may have spacious drives, take their car to work, don’t own a car or have no regard for residents with restrictive parking spaces.

“Whilst we will all be pleased to see the commuters parking stopped, this could be done by just extending the one hour restriction on one side and other side of the road. This is working effectively in areas of Linslade.

“The proposed restrictions will start at 8.30am. Hardly giving some people time to go to work or mums to take their children to school.

Where do any of the residents’ family or friends park? You are really saying that none of us can have visitors any more.”

Councillor Brian Spurr, council spokesman for sustainable communities services, said: “As part of the traffic order process all residents are being asked to decide whether they would like yellow lines or parking permits.

“If residents opt for yellow lines then parking restrictions will only apply on one side of the road in the morning and the other side in the afternoon. This means that people who wish to park on the yellow lines will be able to do so but not on the same side for the whole day.

“If residents choose parking permits then they will be allocated with visitors’ permits.

“Emergency services and the postal service are exempt from the parking restrictions and deliveries will be allowed for unloading and loading purposes and that includes milk deliveries.”