Overflow Parking Update 19th June 2020

Carding Mill Valley on a quieter day with young families enjoying the space



Doubling Visitor Numbers

The easing of the lock-down and the pent-up social demand has seen an unprecedented doubling of the numbers of visitors to Carding Mill Valley in recent weeks, following unsolicited promotion by national media. The proximity of both Church Stretton and All Stretton to the Longmynd has meant that residents have been subjected to a catalogue of unreasonable and sometimes aggressive behaviour by an irresponsible minority of visitors. This has included abandoning cars across driveways, pavements, blocking access for emergency vehicles, scattering litter and unsanitary behaviour, often with scant regard for social distancing requirements.

Decreasing Numbers Anticipated

As other countryside venues are opened up, including those across the Welsh border, it is anticipated that visitor numbers to Carding Mill Valley will decrease. However, with the anticipated increase in staycationing through the summer months, visitor numbers will still be high.

Permanent Overflow Arrangements

That is why Shropshire Councillors, Lee Chapman and David Evans and Church Stretton Town Mayor, Bob Welch, called for an urgent meeting with the National Trust and West Mercia Police, together with the relevant Council Officers to agree permanent arrangements for managing overflow parking, with enough capacity for peak days.

Fear and Anger

All the Councillors present made very clear the high degree of fear and anger felt by residents, as a consequence of irresponsible visitor behaviour, carrying the risk of Covid-19 infection to a community with a high number of vulnerable elderly residents.

Carding Mill Valley Capacity To Increase

The National Trust committed to increasing the parking capacity in Carding Mill Valley as the social distancing requirements are reduced and bringing back more National Trust volunteers to work on- and off-site, supporting traffic re-direction and overflow parking, away from residential areas, to fields being made available by a local farmer.

Council Highways to Review On-Street Parking

Shropshire Council Highways Officers committed to reviewing the on-street parking restrictions throughout the areas affected by irresponsible visitor parking in both Church Stretton and All Stretton. They will meet urgently with Town Councillors and officers to identify the necessary changes in signage and the enforcement measures, necessary to ensure visitor compliance. Parking enforcement is a civil, not a Police, matter, so any proposed changes will require Traffic Regulation Orders.

Local Police Agree to Revise Manning Levels

The local neighbourhood police will collaborate with this work and the local Superintendent has agreed to revise manning levels on Bank Holidays.
In addition, the creation of road signs off the A49 will be investigated, together with identifying the necessary funding, to re-direct traffic to overflow parking.

Promote Responsible Visitor Behaviour

The Shropshire Council Great Outdoors will work with partners across the County to promote responsible visitor behaviour, highlighting the impacts on the communities they visit.

Progress Review in One Month

The meeting will re-convene in one month to review progress on implementing these measures.

National Trust Committed

“The National Trust is committed to working with all local stakeholders to provide safe access to this much loved beautiful countryside whilst, at the same time, safeguarding the interests of the local community.”

Marcus Halliwell, National Trust General Manager for South Shropshire, confirmed

“It is vital that we all work together to safely accommodate visitors into our community, and that they respect the communities and the beautiful countryside we are all so fortunate to have access to.”

Cllr. Lee Chapman, Shropshire Councillor for Church Stretton and Craven Arms

“ The Town Council welcomes the commitment of all the relevant agencies to address what has become an ever-increasing imposition on local residents, given particular urgency at this critical phase in the pandemic.”

Cllr Bob Welch, Church Stretton Mayor

For further information, please contact:

Shropshire Councillor Lee Chapman
lee.chapman@shropshire.gov.uk 01694 723695

Councillor Bob Welch, Church Stretton Town Mayor
bob.welch@btinternet.com 01694 72998

3 thoughts on “Overflow Parking Update 19th June 2020”

  1. So good to see evidence of the coming together of most of the affected parties to address these issues. Where is our MP by the way? Not heard or seen anything of him during these difficult times in Church Stretton. I emailed him after the ‘invasion’ BH w/e – heard nothing since. Isn’t this precisely the sort of local issue our MP should be getting involved with if not leasing? I didn’t vote for him last time- hope voters remember his the lack of interest in Church Stretton at this time when he next comes up for election. I will. The

  2. Council feeling alright ? Your informing residents what’s going on and you conferred with both police and national trust
    What is the world coming to some sort of common sense for once! But be short lived not holding my breath things get better !!!

  3. I am pleased to read you had a useful meeting with the National Trust and the local police, following the comments made at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.
    Hopefully enough progress will be made on implementing these measures before the school summer holiday for us all to enjoy the area we live in.

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