‘Nightmare’ of illegally parked cars sees Bury St Edmunds residents ask for help

Nowton Road

Nowton Road

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Residents who say their lives are being blighted by illegally and inconsiderately parked cars are calling on the authorities to take action before the problem gets any worse.

People living in Mayfield Road, Nowton Road and Plovers Way, in Bury St Edmunds, blame their ‘nightmare’ on a combination of factors starting with controversial parking charges introduced at Nowton Park.

Nowton Road

Nowton Road

Some claim the problem came to a head when the new sports hall opened at the Victory Sports Ground, while others are angry South Lee School is no longer being used as an overspill car park at weekends.

Mother-of-three Sarah Flex, of Mayfield Road, said: “My husband has been blocked in several times. Saturdays are the worst – we try to wait until the games are finished before we go out. It’s beyond a joke now – it’s the one thing I don’t like about living here.

“This whole street is literally full of cars – it’s a nightmare. I pull my hair out every week when I come back with three kids and can’t get near the house. They definitely need to do something.”

Plovers Way resident Gary Smith reported ‘two and a half hours of bedlam every Saturday’ and said if the Victory Ground pavilion had been taken down to provide extra car parking as soon as the sports hall opened ‘it wouldn’t have been such a problem’.

His wife Pauline said more matches were taking place at the ground at weekends but the school was not being used for overspill, with cars now parking illegally in Nowton Road.

Their neighbour, Russell Gould, said the crux of the issue was that the new entrance to the cricket club was not constructed before the sports hall opened.

“Really a complex like that shouldn’t be opened until a proper entrance is made – it’s an unfinished job over there and we’re suffering,” he said.

“With the new complex, the old entrance isn’t adequate by any means and the cars parked there (Nowton Road) make it worse,” he added.

Nowton Road resident Christine Glancy is calling for double yellow lines to be reinstated, while her neighbour Dr Christopher Dexter-Mills said cars parked illegally had become a safety concern.

He said: “It’s a safety issue because there are a lot of children, dog walkers and cyclists. I’m a cyclist myself and if people are so inconsiderate as to park across the pavement it creates quite a hazard.”

Police were called to reports of between 30 and 40 vehicles parked in the no-parking clearway area of Nowton Road on Saturday, October 4.

Officers issued three penalty notices and intend to focus on the problem for the next four to six weeks.

Pc Lawrence Allen said: “On patrolling the area, we found a number of vehicles to be parked illegally and in some cases also obstructing the footpath.

“Initially our focus is to educate drivers that parking is not allowed in the designated clearway or on double-yellow lines and where we are able to get people to move their vehicles we will.

“However, we will enforce the restrictions and issue penalty notices where necessary.”

David Barker, president of the cricket club and vice-chairman of governors at South Lee School, said: “I wasn’t aware of any problems at this moment because we have dramatically increased the car parking (by 40 spaces).”