Calls for car park changes as boy racers make local residents' lives a misery in Oswestry

Residents living close to Oswestry town centre car park say they are fed up with boy racers and other anti-social behaviour at night.

Oswestry's Central car park. Pic: Google
Oswestry's Central car park. Pic: Google

The Trinity Residents' Association has been campaigning for changes to the Central Car Park in Oswestry for many years – including an exit that doesn't see motorists leaving the area via residential streets.

At a recent meeting Oswestry Town Council agreed to investigate a different method of payment for the car park but not to make other changes.

The council's three Green Party councillors for the ward are backing the residents and want the town council to look again at the problem when it meets at the end of November.

Arren Roberts, Oswestry Town Council clerk, said the decision to not pursue changes was taken after a vote.

Peter Lloyd for the Residents' Association said that when it brings up the problems with the council it is referred to the police.

He said: "The police have made heroic efforts to help us. But they cannot solve this problem.

"Even using CCTV it is difficult for them to identify vehicles and collect evidence against their owners.

"Sometimes they can put an officer on site, but they have other work to do.

"The car park layout remains essentially the same as when it was built in 1971.

"In the 50 years since then, car park design has moved on. There is no joyriding in the Sainsbury’s car park because it is designed not to have wide open spaces that lend themselves to vehicle stunts.

"The police cannot eliminate joyriding. The council - the one group with the ability to solve the problem - have rejected our suggestion of designing out the problem.

"The agony of the late night disturbances has been particularly hard to bear this year as the coronavirus emergency has confined people in their homes."

Councillors Mike Isherwood, Duncan Kerr and Olly Rose voted for changes.

In a statement they said: “The elderly residents of Regents Court have told us that for many years they have had to endure noise, fumes and anti-social behaviour from a small minority who use Central Car Park for joy riding, revving engines and performing stunts late into the night.

"As though this wasn’t bad enough the same residents also have to cross the busy and dangerous exit from the car park when they walk into the town centre and there has already been at least one serious accident here.

"As local councillors we have worked with Peter Lloyd from Trinity Residents Association to get the town council to commission a proper traffic engineers report to see how these serious problems can be addressed. We thought we were making good progress in getting this accepted by the town council but this all came to a halt last month."

They are calling for a bid to be made to Shropshire Council to make a Public Spaces Protection order which, they say, would have dramatically improved the powers of the police to take action.

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