WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Column 25th January 2023

Unless parking restrictions are enforced - what's the point?

Wantage Town Council has been working with the County Council to propose changes to the parking regulations around the town.

In November 2021, civil parking enforcement replaced the police to enforce parking restrictions in the Vale of the White Horse.

The County Council gave the responsibility for enforcement to their existing contractor who travels from Oxford according to what appears to be a regular timetable.

Two of the streets in the town centre (Grove Street and Stirlings Road) are subject to no waiting at any time and a single yellow line that operates Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm.

Once enforcement had taken effect it became apparent that residents in Grove Street were being issued with tickets for parking near their homes.

As a result, enforcement of the single yellow lines was suspended until a review could be undertaken.

A review in 2022 by the County Council working with local councillors to develop proposals was proposed last year and letters were sent directly to approximately 1,055 properties in the area as well as street notices being put up in the affected areas.

The proposals included introducing residents’ parking permits for parts of Grove Road and Stirlings Road, ‘No Waiting at Any Time’ (double yellow lines) restrictions in: Grove Street, Church Street, Maryfield, Mill Street Portway, Stirlings Road, and Post Office Lane; and ‘Limited Waiting’ restrictions (30 mins & 1 hour parking) in Church Street, Mill Street, and Wallingford Street, as well as 2 dedicated disabled parking spaces in Wallingford Street outside No 36 and a dedicated taxi bay in Newbury Street adjacent to No 9.

Almost 50 responses to the statutory consultation have been received and many have pointed out that the proposed changes will have impacts on the surrounding roads, which haven’t been considered.

A decision will be taken by the Cabinet Member for Highway Management on 26 January and you can watch the meeting using this video link: https://oxon.cc/DDCMHM26012023

If it’s anything like the last time that this committee reviewed proposals for changes in parking restrictions in Wantage, the Chair will simply say that the police have no objections so the proposals can be approved.

None of the changes will have any effect unless parking enforcement is taken more seriously.

As one resident pointed out, people have realised now what day the warden comes around and so park in the street when it is not the warden’s day.

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