Call for re-think on car parking

A TOWN councillor is demanding joined-up thinking over parking problems in Royston. And Cllr Rod Kennedy claimed that increased parking charges had just been introduced to screw money out of people . His comments came during a discussion of Royston Tow

A TOWN councillor is demanding "joined-up thinking" over parking problems in Royston.

And Cllr Rod Kennedy claimed that increased parking charges had just been introduced "to screw money out of people".

His comments came during a discussion of Royston Town Council's transport and general purposes committee over parking problems in Royston.

The matter has been raised after residents in the Newmarket Road area had complained about increased all-day parking.

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They said it was causing problems in such places as Hollies Close, Tall Trees and Eastfield Avenue.

Their concern raised the whole question of parking in Royston.

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Cllr Kennedy said that people working in Royston were now looking for alternative parking places after charges increased to £12.50-a-week.

"There has to be some joined-up thinking looking at the matter as a whole. It has to be resolved," he said.

Cllr Kennedy said one way to solve the problem would be to reduce the car parking charges in Royston.

He continued that there was a need for a car parking strategy for Royston rather than one which covered the whole district.

But he said it appeared North Herts District Council was "incapable" of producing such a plan.

Cllr Lindsay Davidson claimed, however, that the district council "had no intention of reducing charges".

"Royston councillors have been out-numbered and out-gunned on the issue of parking charges," she said.

Earlier, Cllr Mike Harrison told members that parking in Newmarket Road and the surrounding area had become "ludicrous".

He said all he had been told was that the district council was looking into the problem.

"But Herts Highways and the district council said they were looking at this problem two years ago."

Cllr Harrison continued: "This whole problem was made worse when parking charges were increased."

This, he said, had led to a "crazy situation".

He said parking had increased in King James Way and in Priory Close, where anyone emerging into Newmarket Road was "taking their life in their hands".

He added that there was a need to introduce parking restrictions, but not at the expense of moving the problem elsewhere.

A three-member working party - Cllr Harrison, Cllr Davidson and Cllr Kennedy - was set-up to discuss the parking with issue with representatives of the district council.

- Figures revealed in a report to members of the district council's Cabinet showed that a loss on parking charges of £14,800 was expected at the end of April.

The reason was that increased parking charges were not introduced until last May instead of earlier last year.

- The district council recently earmarked £25,000 to spend on the introduction of parking restrictions plans.

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