Online Letchworth ‘Parking Abusers’ campaign launched as residents demand urgent action

Pixmore Way on June 6. People living in the street say the parking situation means they often cannot

Pixmore Way on June 6. People living in the street say the parking situation means they often cannot find spaces outside their own homes. Picture: Jade Lawrence - Credit: Archant

A campaign has been launched to stop Letchworth town centre workers and visitors allegedly ‘abusing’ the free parking available in a residential street.

The ‘Parking Abusers’ campaign objects to what it considers the excessive use of Pixmore Way by motorists leaving their cars while they go to work, use the railway station or visit the town’s splash park.

Organiser Robert Lawrence says cars often park down both sides of the road, leaving no room for lorries and emergency vehicles – and last week he wrote to North Herts District Council, urging them to look into the issue ‘with great urgency’.

“We are sick to death of people parking their cars outside our homes to avoid paying for parking in the town,” he wrote.

“At the start of this year the council put double yellow lines down Norton Way South and also the top of Pixmore Way leading up to the fountain, which has caused even more cars to park on our stretch of the road.

“On a number of occasions my wife Jade has been verbally abused and pushed to the ground, in front of our daughters aged four and two, when she has asked them to move due to us having to park up.

“My neighbour has been pinned to his car by one of these car owners and nearly run over. The list is endless.

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“I cannot stress enough to you all that we, the residents of Pixmore Way, have complained on a number of occasions and we keep getting told that nothing will be done about it until next year. This has been going on for the past 10 years.

“We beg of you to look in to the parking issues on Pixmore Way with great urgency as one day someone will be hurt.”

Robert thinks the district council should introduce a permit parking scheme to solve the problem – and he says he and his neighbours are “willing to take this to parliament if we need to”.

Parking Abusers pages have been set up on Facebook and Twitter, along with email address to which reports and photos can be sent. Physical leaflets are soon to be distributed.

When speaking to the Comet on Wednesday, Jade told the Comet: “Funnily enough it doesn’t look like there’s anybody parked outside today. I don’t know if that’s anything to do with us.”

One of the businesses she alleges has employees taking advantage of Pixmore Way is phone firm EE – to which the campaign directed Twitter compaints on Tuesday last week.

The Parking Abusers account tweeted: “Tell your staff from the Letchworth store to go and pay for parking like everyone else.

“They stop the residents of Pixmore Way from parking outside their homes. We have to park two streets over! Which then causes problems for the residents who live on those streets.

“There is a big enough multi-storey car park in Letchworth town centre, which is reasonably priced.”

EE tweeted back that this had been passed to their shop management team to look into.

Responding to the campaign’s launch, the district council agreed that ‘safety is a priority’.

A spokeswoman said: “We are aware that there are some complex parking issues on Pixmore Way in Letchworth, which are largely due to the area satisfying a number of different parking needs from residents and town centre workers.

“As safety is a priority, the council will liaise with Herts County Council to see how the issues can be resolved from a highway safety point of view, before we look at how we may address the longer-term issues in the area.”

To find out more about the campaign, see facebook.com/ParkingAbusers and twitter.com/ParkingAbusers, or email letchworthparkingabusers@mail.com.

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