PUBLISHED: 11:22 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010
Residents divided over car parking plans A COMMUNITY has been divided over controversial proposals to implement a new parking scheme. Turbulent times have followed an article in The Comet on February 9 which highlighted the opposition by some residents t
Residents divided over car parking plans
A COMMUNITY has been divided over controversial proposals to implement a new parking scheme.
Turbulent times have followed an article in The Comet on February 9 which highlighted the opposition by some residents to the notion of introducing parking permits to some streets in Hitchin.
The Triangle area of the town is split by those people in favour and those against a change in parking rules and many are upset by the lack of consultation from North Herts District Council.
The Comet has been overwhelmed with correspondence from concerned members of the Triangle community, the area bordered by Nightingale Road, Walsworth Road and Verulam Road.
Due to the neighbourhood's proximity to Hitchin railway station many residents complain that their streets suffer increased parking pressure.
Commuters favour their roads' parking spaces over the more expensive option at the station or Woodside car parks.
A permit parking scheme would only allow residents to benefit from all-day parking, thereby driving away commuters' cars.
Yet some residents reject the need for such a scheme.
Emily Fox, of Alexandra Road, said: "The Triangle parking scheme is an abomination concocted by a minority of residents primarily living on Dacre Road.
"We have never had a problem with commuters."
She accused the group of being a clique and was backed up by Jerome Green, also of Alexandra Road.
He said: "No parking restrictions are needed, we do not have a problem with commuters' parking."
This view is compounded by their criticism of the council.
Following Cllr Deepak Sangha's letter in The Comet last week that "a number of consultations have taken place with the residents in the Triangle", Rebecca Tomlin, of Radcliffe Road, said: "Cllr Sangha seems to be under the illusion that residents of the Triangle area have been asked if they want a residents parking scheme. They have not."
Ms Tomlin complains that a community survey did not canvass all households, and of those who received it, only a third replied.
She continued: "The council has certainly not asked residents of the Triangle area if they want the proposed scheme."
The council is now responding with a more formal consultation.
A council spokesman said: "NHDC is writing to every resident in the area and the letters are going out today (Thursday) and Friday.
"The letter consists of a questionnaire so residents can formally make their views known to the council on the parking proposals.
"The questionnaire is also on the council's website.
"It must be completed by March 17 and the responses will be collated and included in a report to the Hitchin area committee on April 18."
A survey and meeting conducted by the Triangle Residents Association concluded that the majority approved the proposal.
Leonard Hughes of Verulam Road said: "I welcome such a scheme, and hope it will soon be introduced.
"Perhaps then there will not be vans and cars, apparently unused, and parked for days, sometimes weeks on end, by their owners.
"Parking spaces could be more sensibly available if all-day parking was not possible."
It has been estimated that an annual parking permit for Triangle residents will cost £26.
Supporters of the scheme hope this will stop commuters using their streets and ease the pressure on parking spaces.