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Column 3rd November 2021

Parking fines may be much more common

Monday was 1 November and the day that Civil Parking Enforcement took effect.

Many people in the Vale and South Oxfordshire will be cheering and waiting to see if there will be any enforcement.

This applies particularly to those in Wantage who have had difficulty getting to their homes because of illegally parked cars or have suffered from dents and scrapes because of cars parked in the wrong places.

Others will be working out where they will park in the future and a third group will be wondering if they will be able to park outside their own homes as the cars currently parked on yellow lines in the town centre are pushed out onto residential streets.

An article in last weeks’ Herald suggested that the Chamber of Commerce were worried about the effects on trade if people can’t park in Wantage.

The response from the District Council said: "Wantage has three car parks in the town which we manage and has space for 189 vehicles.”

"There are currently no plans for a multi-storey carpark, which wouldn’t fit with our corporate priorities of tackling the climate emergency and building healthy communities."

Earlier this year, one of our campaigners walked around the streets in the centre of Wantage each day checking the number of empty spaces in the car parks and the number of cars parked illegally.

Since April the number of cars parked illegally has exceeded the number of parking spaces available every day by up to 72 cars.

In the same article from the Oxford Mail Oxfordshire County Council said: "Enforcing limited waiting (short stay) bays will benefit businesses as better compliance will increase the turnover of parking and make it more likely that customers will find somewhere to park."

This only answers half of the problem.

What about the staff who have to travel by car to Wantage for work because there isn’t sufficient public transport?

We know of several people who tried cycling to work only to have their bikes stolen and as there are no footpaths can’t walk.

The only bus services are along main roads, well away from our rural villages so they don’t help either.

So if you live too far from the centre of Wantage to walk to work and you have to get the car out, parking costs may mean that it becomes too expensive to work here.


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