Could traffic wardens hold the key to parking problems in Spa?

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Traffic wardens could soon be patrolling roads in the centre of Woodhall Spa – if businesses don’t respond to appeals to stop parking outside their premises all day.

At their monthly meeting last Tuesday, parish councillors discussed options to free up parking places in Station Road and The Broadway.

There are currently no time restrictions in place.

Councillors introduced a voluntary scheme a couple of years ago, encouraging business owners and their employees to park elsewhere.

But councillors were told at their meeting that parking was still a problem, with many vehicles left in front of shops from 9am to 5pm.

Councillors said that deterred potential customers from stopping and using the local shops.

Coun Graham Keegan suggested a one-hour limit should be considered, with vehicle owners barred from returning for an additional two hours.

He said it would be up to county council wardens to enforce any regulations.

Coun Richard Sanderson said various options were considered before the voluntary scheme was introduced.

He said those options included double yellow lines, parking bays and time restrictions.

Councillors agreed to make a new appeal to businesses –asking them to park at other locations.

Coun Sanderson said many businesses had already responded positively.

He revealed a suggestion that business owners who did not comply should be “named and shamed” had previously led to threats of legal action.

Council chairman David Clarke said that as well as the appeal, councillors should contact the county council to ask whether they would consider imposing restrictions.

Meanwhile, the on-going issue of vehicles parking on grass verges in the village was again raised by a resident.

He said it was a particular problem in Witham Road,

He claimed pedestrians were forced to walk on the busy main road because parked vehicles were blocking the pavements.

He added many of the vehicle owners had space on the front drives – but were not using them.

Coun Clarke suggested residents should contact the county highways department to lodge a complaint. He confirmed the parish council had complained to County Hall about parking on verges in other areas of the village.

Coun Clarke said: “It is a problem and it is something we are chasing up. It [parking on verges] is , I believe, illegal.”

Councillors defended their decision not to ask for retention of a footpath across a new housing development linking Alexandra Road and Green Lane.

A member of the public told councillors the path was well-used and provided access to Viking Park via Green Lane.

He said the path had been used for many years and was the site of an ELDC dog bin.

However, he claimed that since work had started on the housing development, there was no provision for the path.

Coun Sanderson explained councillors had discussed the issue but had agreed the path effectively led into what was private land.

He acknowledged the path was well used, but said the council had not asked for the path to be retained because of the private land issue.

Councillors also opted not to hand over control of the community website to a PR comp-any.

They were told the company, Spider PR, had been approached by organisations behind the ongoing project to re-develop the Spa Baths.

Councillors said they were happy with the way the website was run, but agreed they were happy to take advice from Spider PR about any improvements.

Coun Keegan said: “I am not against working with them but I believe it is important we retain editorial control. It is a community website and should not be used for commercial gain.”

A letter from the county council was read out, outlining plans to complete improvements to the main road over Kirkstead Bridge.

Work did start earlier this year but was suspended due to poor weather. The county now plans to complete the work next month and stresses that a two-day programme will not result in full closure of the bridge.

There were widespread complaints about the bridge being closed for the initial work, with people claiming they faced a lengthy detour.

No date for the work had been announced.