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Column 11th October 2017

Maybe we should just get signs saying 'parking restrictions don't apply here'

The Traffic Advisory meeting is where Wantage and Grove Councillors discuss issues with the County Council Highways Officers and Thames Valley Police.

In September it discussed the parking problems in Wantage and Grove again. They do this at every meeting and it’s rare that any action is taken.

We have double yellow lines on many of the streets in the centre of Wantage which, last time I looked at the Highway Code, mean no waiting at any time.

That isn’t the same as a single yellow line which means no waiting during times shown on sign or restricts parking to a limited time. Yet many of the roads in Wantage have cars parked on them for hours.

There is also the problem of vehicles parking on pavements; this can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams, pushchairs or mobility scooters.

Parking in such a way that you block dropped curbs is also illegal and makes it very difficult for wheelchairs and mobility scooters to get on and off pavements.

The main issue is that we are one of the few Districts left in England where the Police still have responsibility for traffic management.

Most other Councils have taken this responsibility on and manage it themselves with their own traffic wardens.

Until the County and the Vale District Council finally decide that they should catch up with every other authority, we are stuck with the Police having responsibility and treating it as a very low priority.

Perhaps we should have road signs as you enter Oxfordshire which state that parking restrictions don’t apply in this area?

The advice from the Police is that we should report parking incidents using the 101 phone number.

This number can be used to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response.

Calls will receive a crime number and if there are sufficient calls reported then the police may allocate staff to look into the issues raised.

Calls to 101 (from both landlines and mobile networks) cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call, or how long you are on the phone.

Please don’t just email the police because emails don’t get incident numbers, aren’t included in the statistics and won’t register as issues of concern.

Calling 101 may be the only way we get any action on illegal parking.


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