Angry residents of Grimsbury will gather at the community centre this evening (Thursday) hoping to get answers to ‘intolerable’ parking problems.
Householders from the new estate built on the former Banbury cattle market site say their lives are being blighted by commuters who are parking outside their homes to avoid hefty charges of the new, multistorey, station car park.
County councillor Mike Beal (Lab Grimsbury and Castle) said one resident had discovered a motorist had left his car outside their home for a week while on holiday to avoid parking charges.
He said: “This whole issue of parking is going to be a major talking point at the Grimsbury Community Association AGM,” he said.
“We have been told a senior policeman from Thames Valley Police is coming and David Tole of Oxfordshire highways.
“We’ll be looking at all the areas in Grimsbury and what measures will work and can be enforced, because it’s intolerable now.
“But it is all pointless if it cannot be policed.”
Mr Beal said the houses in Alma Road, Marshall Road and Higham Way had only very recently been adopted by Oxfordshire County Council, ten years after redevelopment of the old Banbury cattle market.
“It has taken ten years for the local authority to adopt the site. Street lighting has had to be brought up to scratch and the sewers weren’t adopted by Thames Water.
“No yellow lines have been painted on the roads to regulate parking and people have been leaving their cars where they like, across corners even, and causing hazards.”
Mr Beal said since the landslip on the Banbury to Leamington rail line had interrupted services, the parking problems had been even worse.
He added: “Grimsbury has been chocker. One person said ‘not all commuters are rich commuters’ and £7 is a lot to pay for a day’s parking in the new multi-storey car park.
“It’s debatable whether the car park should have gone there as it encourges people to park in Grimsbury and take a shortcut over the new bridge.”
Mr Beal said West Street and old Grimsbury had suffered for years from inconsiderate parking by people not living in the area.
He said: “It has been a problem since the 60s. West Street was built in Victorian times and it’s not designed to take cars in the road.
“More houses are being split up into flats causing demand for even more spaces.
“Middleton Road is bad too and in Waterloo Road, one resident challenged someone and they’d left their car there so it would be ‘safe’ while they went on a week’s holiday!”
Mr Beal said he had delivered two batches of leaflets around Grimsbury and had received 50 emails responding to the parking problem.
“Nearly all said they were glad the issue is finally being addressed,” he said.
“Hopefully this issue will encourage people to attend the AGM. We need a good turnout.
“Mind you, if we manage to get this sorted we’ll need to be employed by NATO – it’s such a difficult one to crack.”
Mr Beal said Cherwell District Council had refused to take on responsibility for policing parking from the county council.
“Whatever the solution is, it’s going to have to have some kindof enforcement, if the police budgets allow them to do it,” he added.
Tonight’s meeting takes place at the Grimsbury Community Centre, Burchester Place at 7pm.