Grimsbury may have to grin and bear parking

Parking has been a problem for residents in Grimsbury
Parking has been a problem for residents in Grimsbury

Residents in the Grimsbury area of Banbury area may have to struggle on with a parking ‘free for all’ because cash-strapped police cannot spare officers to enforce the law.

Cllr Mike Beal, Labour county councillor for Grimsbury and Castle, said last Thursday’s Grimsbury Community Association annual meeting was told there was little Thames Valley Police or Oxfordshire highways could do about illegal parking in residential streets.

The problem has been exacerbated by commuters using unlined roadsides for parking rather than pay £7 a day to use the new multi-storey car park built for Banbury station.

“The police say in the scheme of things, parking is low down on the list of priorities because of dwindling resources,” said Mr Beal.

“The highways man said Cherwell had not taken on responsibility for enforcement of parking and no one’s doing it in Oxfordshire, apart from the city council.”

Mr Beal said a resident had emailed to complain Police Community Support Officers ‘walk past’ illegal parking without doing anything about it. Another sent a number of photographs showing cars parked at all angles across footpaths in the new estate streets on the former Cattle Market.

“It’s a difficult one without anyone to take responsibility for parking enforcement. We’re told that if PCSOs do book drivers the fine goes to national government so there’s no incentive,” he said.

“If you got caught once a week, a £30 parking fine would still be cheaper than paying in the multi-storey.

“A residents’ parking scheme would cost money and would still need to be enforced. You could put more lines down but if there isn’t enforcment what good would they do?”

Mr Beal said: “There’s no visible kerb on the roads at the Cattle Market and disabled people are having to go in wheelchairs around parked cars. The design is all wrong,” he said. “The county council said it would look at establishing posts or markings.

“What concerns me is we set laws for parking only to be happy to let them be flouted. We wouldn’t do that with shoplifting. The meeting showed how austerity and lack of funds are affecting local authorities. It’s a parking free-for-all in Grimsbury,” he said.