Overflow Parking 31 May 2020

MAYORAL STATEMENT

After the chaos in Church Stretton on Bank Holiday Monday, when residential streets were blocked to emergency vehicles, I consulted with my Town Councillor colleagues and this weekend implemented the option most favoured by them, should it prove necessary.

Extra Patrols and Parking enforcement

In four days, I brought together the combined efforts of the local police to undertake extra patrols, additional attendance by the parking enforcement officers of Shropshire Council, asked the schools and Leisure Centre to open their car parks and prevailed on the National Trust to allow more cars into Cardingmill Valley.  None of that was sufficient to contain the more than 1,000 cars which flooded into the town this Saturday.

Overflow Car Park

That is why a few volunteers, my wife and I have chosen to put ourselves at risk of Covid-19 infection in an attempt to reduce the risk to the wider community.  We are marshalling a hastily arranged overflow car park on a playing field, of which Town Councillors are the responsible Trustees. I hope and pray that, by removing over 400 cars from residential streets, our community will be spared any re-infection.

Unacceptable Risk

I agree with the majority local opinion that this small rural community, with a high elderly population, has been put at unacceptable risk by ill-thought-out government policy on easing the lock-down.  Unlike Wales, England has allowed unlimited travel, when only a few countryside sites are allowed to be only partially open.  Given the pent-up public demand, after eight weeks of lock-down, it is entirely predictable that over 1,000 cars would flood into the town – an outcome that the Town Council is entirely powerless to prevent.

Friendly and Welcoming

In normal times, Church Stretton is a friendly and welcoming historic market town in a beautiful setting. When times return to the “new normal”, we will be pleased to welcome back those visitors who have, perhaps for the first time this weekend, discovered this magic setting.  When our range of independent speciality shops are once more able to open, we will be delighted to see our visitors return to help keep our town centre thriving.

Church Stretton Town Mayor: Cllr. Bob Welch

5 thoughts on “Overflow Parking 31 May 2020”

  1. David Maxwell Kilby

    Shropshire Playing Fields Association would like to say how sorry we were to here of your plight over the past couple of weeks, a few years ago we carried out an open space needs assessment for the town council which was agreed and accepted but not implemented.

    We have now written a `freedom to move strategy’ which we have sent to your town clerk which has a whole range of ideas on how to better design and manage public open spaces so that local community members as well as visitors may be able to access them safely by walking, running, or cycling – in this time of social distancing many towns are reducing access for cars in favour of these modes of transport including manchester, london and shrewsbury – our offer of help as an association is still there if you would like to get in touch with us.

    Dave Kilby – Secretary

  2. Thank you to Bob and all the volunteers who are trying to keep us safe and sane. It does feel like we are living in a town under siege. Surely the National Trust itself should be doing more to limit access to their land and making it safe for it’s neighbours.

    Other leisure facilities don’t allow unlimited access, most imposing a time limit on users at busy times. The National Trust has members..surely they should be giving priority access to those people and having the guts to turn away non members.

    I think The National Trust has to take responsibility and have more care and respect for the people of the Stretton. Even if that means very publicly closing Cardingmill Valley again.

    1. The National Trust have acted irresponsibly throughout this season.
      The weekend before lockdown they advertised their car parks would be free to park in. CMV was overflowing that weekend.
      Prior to re-opening the car park on 21 May the National Trust advertised they would introduce a booking system for their busiest car parks – isn’t CMV one of the busiest?!!
      On the CMV page of their website it stated the limit would be 140 cars to enable social distancing. So why did the National Trust in conjunction with the Town Council allow all this additional parking when they knew this would double or treble the number of people in CMV.
      The National Trust should have introduced a booking system for this car park and the Town Council should have arranged temporary road closures (except for residents) near CMV with diversion signs taking cars back to the A49.

  3. “That is why a few volunteers, my wife and I have chosen to put ourselves at risk of Covid-19 infection in an attempt to reduce the risk to the wider community. We are marshalling a hastily arranged overflow car park on a playing field, of which Town Councillors are the responsible Trustees. I hope and pray that, by removing over 400 cars from residential streets, our community will be spared any re-infection”. “agree with the majority local opinion that this small rural community, with a high elderly population, has been put at unacceptable risk by ill-thought-out government policy on easing the lock-down”

    SO why did you think it correct, to park An extra large amount of cars probably mainly from the west midlands which has had a high rate of infection , actually in the centre of town ? On the main Towns peoples sporting recreation space. I would appreciate a reply, in view of the statements which you yourself have made on the 26th and again today on the 31st It was in my opinion a very badly thought out solution to the problem in the middle of a pandemic, when every one is expecting a second wave of infection. Obviously its not your fault, as you consulted your colleagues and it was THEIR Most favored option !

  4. Where is Philip Dunne in this fiasco? Feeling so sorry for Church Stretton friends and residents, our influx of walkers in Hopesay is nothing in comparison.

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