A way forward for parking? Warwick traffic woes to be debated

Warwick, Smith Street.'MHLC-31-01-15  NNL-150202-114758009
Warwick, Smith Street.'MHLC-31-01-15 NNL-150202-114758009

Warwick traffic woes will be tackled after years of upset over residents being unable to stop outside their homes and cars parked on pavements.

Ongoing problems of on- and off-street parking will be debated by councillors this summer in the first step of a “long process” to bring about change for the town centre.

These issues all need to be tackled together and not in isolation, that is the heart of what we want to get at

Mandy Littlejohn

But members warn that with support needed from across the county, problems “cannot be solved overnight”.

Mayor Mandy Littlejohn, who lives and works in central Warwick, said despite the town being ‘the most vibrant’ she has known in 16 years, traffic woes are worsening.

And that one of the biggest problems is having residents’ parking permits and metered parking in the same streets.

“There are not enough permit spaces for the number of permits given out,” she said.

“People can pay for metered parking, but then permit holders for that street have their spaces taken and are stuck. Equally, if the spaces are all used by permit holders, where do visitors go?

“On top of that we have Linen Street multi-storey being partially closed and workers wanting to park all day, plus shoppers. It is endless.

“These issues all need to be tackled together and not in isolation, that is the heart of what we want to get at.”

On-street parking is managed by Warwickshire County Council, while Warwick District Council has powers over designated car parks.

Plans for change will be debated at the town’s next economic and tourism committee in June, where it is hoped that a joint agreement can be reached to help Warwick come to a solution.

Members are expected to look into residential permits, and how to stop vehicles parking on pavements - something Cllr Littlejohn said could go a long way for the town.

“Vehicles parked on the pavement is a big issue, especially in areas like off West Street,” she said. “We often have vehicles parked on both sides of the road so lorries cannot get past, nor can disability scooters on the pavement.

“We need to sit down and look at all of these problems together, and come up with some solutions.

“It will be a long process but we can make big changes over time and with a lot of joined-up thinking.”