Legal action threat on parking in Shrewsbury Square
Drivers who are parking their cars on a pedestrianised street in the heart of Shrewsbury could face legal action from Shropshire Council.
Motorists are regularly leaving their cars close to the Old Market Hall in the Square while enjoying a night out in the town.
These include taxi drivers waiting to pick up passengers.
It has led to concerns from some quarters that an ancient bylaw, which prevents the parking of cars in the vicinity of the Square, is being deliberately flouted.
Shropshire Council has said its officers are looking at ways in which to deal with the problem and will be reviewing legislation and traffic orders which are meant to prevent drivers parking their cars on the pedestrianised street.
Resident Colin Dowse has recorded the number and frequency of the parked cars over a three-month period and has approached Shropshire Council with a number of photographs he has taken and asked for clarification and requested that immediate action be taken.
He said: "This is supposedly a safe pedestrian area for locals and tourists – a jewel in the crown.
"However, motorists don’t seem to see it this way and park dangerously often double parked.
"The highways department is powerless to act and cannot get wardens to ticket these cars. I was told last year that there was a problem to get a bylaw changed and there was no budget to provide new signage. I offered to crowdfund the cost of the signs."
Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s trading standards and licensing operations manager, said: “Shropshire Council shares the concerns raised in relation to vehicles parking in The Square, and can confirm we are looking at the most appropriate manner in which to resolve this problem.
"The Square itself consists of a protected area within which it is unlawful to use or leave a vehicle in breach of the local Act. Officers are now reviewing this legislation and the relevant traffic orders that apply within the area, in order to determine the most appropriate action to take to ensure this issue is resolved and cars no longer park in this pedestrianised area.”
Nat Green, councillor for the Quarry and Coton Hill ward said he was aware of the problem and that he had been contacted by a number of residents. "The council is very much aware of the situation and one of the reasons for the delay in dealing with it was because the rules regarding parking in that area was something of a grey area," he said.
"They needed to take legal advice and are now in the position to do something about it. It is not that nobody was aware of it or was ignoring the matter. It was a legally tricky position and that has now been resolved."