Drawing a line under dangerous parking

Jenifer and Colin Clarke by the Newbold Close bus stop in Bankside NNL-141103-165804009
Jenifer and Colin Clarke by the Newbold Close bus stop in Bankside NNL-141103-165804009

Double yellow lines are set to be put down on a Banbury road beset by dangerous and inconsiderate parking.

An Oxfordshire County Council Highways draft consultation looking to enforce parking restrictions on Bankside was made public at a Banbury Town Council Traffic Advisory Committee meeting last Wednesday.

The committee’s vice chairman and Calthorpe ward councillor Colin Clarke has been putting pressure on both the highways authority and Thames Valley Police in a bid to resolve ongoing problems.

The Banbury Guardian has also received letters complaining about the situation saying the road is being ‘used as a car park’ and calling the obstructing cars ‘a danger and a hazard’. Residents have highlighted issues such as drivers leaving vehicles on or opposite bus stops, on bends and too close to junctions.

Mr Clarke, of nearby Foscote Rise, said: “I’ve been a councillor for just over eight years and I’ve had more complaints since last November on this issue than everything else put together.”

His wife Jenifer Clarke was among the first to complain about the issue and said the biggest problem is the Bankside/Hightown Road junction, where cars are often parked in a particularly dangerous manner leaving only room for one car to pass at any one time. She said: “You have to be on the wrong side of the road to pass.”

Resident Jamie Lambrianou, of Woodhall Drive, added: “You often get arguments between two drivers – but it’s not their fault. We’ve got more than 1,000 additional houses coming up in Bankside soon so something needs to be done.”

Mr Clarke said he believed the majority of the cars parked between the Newbold Close and Hightown Road junctions – at one point as many as 26 – belong to rail commuters rather than county council staff at nearby Samuelson House, as has been regularly suggested.

He said: “I’ve spoken to the office manager at Samuelson House who has investigated properly and I’m confident it’s not county council employees parking there.”

Mr Clarke added: “Money is in short supply so the council is only dealing with the most urgent area at the moment – which is Bankside.

“Hopefully, after that, they’ll look at the other areas including Lambs Crescent, Green Lane, Western Crescent and Lime Avenue.”

The county council’s highways department has discussed the matter both with the Traffic Advisory Committee and bus operator Stagecoach and will be holding a public consultation regarding the proposed parking restrictions before Easter.

The aim is to have double yellow lines in place alongside large parts of the road later this year.