Town council has ‘little option’ but to introduce parking restrictions due to abuse of spaces by workers

Parking enforcement measures could soon be introduced at some town council-run car parks in Leighton-Linslade to stop town centre workers and rail commuters abusing the spaces.

The introduction of restictions to tackle parking problems on numerous residential roads in recent times by Central Beds Council has created difficulties elsewhere, according to the town council.

Mentmore Road Car Park  (C)Google

Mentmore Road Car Park (C)Google

A particular headache is Mentmore Road and the town council fears it could gain a reputation for being difficult to park at, affecting future bookings for the pavilion.

A council report states: “As the number of residential roads the subject of parking restrictions increases, drivers are looking for other viable locations in which to avoid paying for the privilege.

“The town council does not presently operate any kind of enforcement or charging regime on its car parks. Beyond the locking of its

car parks of an evening, the car parks remain open to anyone who may wish to park there.

“As a town asset, there is every reason to keep the car parks open for the reasonable enjoyment of the parish’s residents. However, the situation is now becoming acute with drivers taking advantage to the detriment of all.”

Of the Mentmore situation, it adds: “It is not uncommon to find the Mentmore Road recreation car park 75% full even without the hall, tennis club or indeed the bowls club being in occupation.

“From observing driver behaviour, it is clear that a considerable number of those who choose to leave their cars there work in town.

“Sadly, the matter needs to be addressed as those who have a legitimate reason to park there are now being denied the opportunity.

“Whilst the provision of more car parking spaces is an option, this does not address driver behaviour. In fact, an argument could indeed be made that the provision of more free parking would actively encourage more drivers to take advantage.

“The principle of introducing enforcement measures is not an attractive one. However, there is little in the way of option which the town council now has.

“Anecdotally, the users of the facilities are becoming increasingly concerned given the present situation. On an increasing number of occasions, users have been forced to park illegally on the roadside given the situation. The concern here being that the town council run Mentmore Pavilion could in fact gain a reputation in being a facility that has no parking to the potential detriment of future bookings.”

CBC recently introduced a three-hour weekday time limit on its Tiddenfoot car park, freeing up space for leisure centre users which had been taken by workers.

The town council’s grounds and environmental services committee has now agreed to work with CBC to look at potentially operating a similar style system in certain town council owned car parks.