Police hold meeting on Bankside parking

Bankside parking. Pic by Lucy Ford NNL-141103-165824009
Bankside parking. Pic by Lucy Ford NNL-141103-165824009

Police have organised a meeting with residents in Cherwell Heights to give them the opportunity to have their say about a Banbury road beset by parking problems.

Police have organised a meeting with residents in Cherwell Heights to give them the opportunity to have their say about a Banbury road beset by parking problems.

Wendy Percival is the Neighbourhood Sergeant for the Banbury Rural Policing team and has been trying to help sort out the problems along Bankside since January.

Residents have tried for some time to push for parking restrictions along the road, which they say is being used as a car park. They have highlighted issues such as drivers leaving vehicles on or opposite bus stops, on bends and too close to junctions.

A consultation by Oxfordshire County Council on plans to introduce double yellow lines from Hightown Road to no.60 Bankside ended last month. Police have now organised a meeting at the community hall in Avocet Way, Banbury for Saturday, July 19 at 11am.

Sgt Percival said: “We have been pushing for double yellow lines to be put on this part of the town since January and this will assist the officers. If they find cars parking on these lines in the future, they will slap tickets on them and hopefully get the message across.

“We just felt that we needed to reassure the community that we are listening to their concerns and working with the council to resolve the issue long term. Individuals have been contacting us and so far we have responded on a one-to-one basis, so the meeting will allow the residents to ask questions and get the necessary information.”

There are six police officers and four PCSOs covering the whole of Banbury town centre, Grimsbury, Cherwell Heights and Easington. As well as monitoring parking, they carry out normal crime inquiries, community engagements, deployments to public order operations and night time patrols.

In the first four months of this year, officers issued more than 400 parking tickets across the town, including Bankside.

This compared to 394 parking tickets issued between September 2013 and December 2013. Sgt Percival said: “I think the figures show the team are trying their hardest to combat parking in between managing anti-social behaviour and crime.

“I can empathise with the residents as it is also really frustrating for myself and the other officers as we don’t have a traffic warden patrolling this part of the town anymore. It is a relief that work to implement double yellow lines is now moving forward.

“It is frustrating to see the perception that the police aren’t doing anything about the situation when we are. The team visit the area throughout their duty day to monitor the situation, responding to calls from concerned residents.”

Officers have been putting leaflets onto cars parked along the road to explain about vehicles parking too close to the junction.

Bankside residents recently took matters into their own hands by putting leaflets of their own onto car windscreens, telling drivers of the dangers when parking.

As well as Bankside, the police’s priority locations for parking include Calthorpe Street, George Street, Marlborough Road, Gatteridge Street and Dashwood Road.

Sgt Percival said: “The team takes parking very seriously but there are other top priorities, such as burglary and other crimes, that need addressing as well.” To keep updated on the latest police messages and crime in your area, sign up online at www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk