Petrol sta­tion and house hit by light­ning

Sig­nif­i­cant drop in lor­ries park­ing il­le­gally overnight

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams saw­illiams@thek­m­ @SamWil­liamsKM

The num­ber of lor­ries park­ing il­le­gally across Ash­ford at night has re­duced sig­nif­i­cantly.

New fig­ures by Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil re­veal that the num­ber of HGVs park­ing in the town each night has dropped from hun­dreds to lower than 10 since April, when a new clamp­ing scheme was launched.

As part of the six-month pi­lot, traf­fic war­dens pa­trol the lorry blackspots dur­ing the weekday evenings and Sun­day morn­ings.

A re­port re­leased ahead of next week’s Joint Trans­porta­tion Board meet­ing, in which the scheme will be dis­cussed, re­veals that the num­ber of ve­hi­cles park­ing at Sev­ing­ton, Or­bital Park and Hen­wood es­tate has dra­mat­i­cally re­duced.

It says: “The over­all num­bers of HGVs park­ing overnight in the three tar­get ar­eas are still down on the num­bers that were park­ing prior to the trial although 100% com­pli­ance has yet to be achieved.”

In March this year, two weeks be­fore the trial started, 109 lor­ries were counted across the three busi­ness parks, in­clud­ing 49 in Hen­wood.

How­ever, the latest fig­ures avail­able, for the morn­ing of Sun­day, Au­gust 16, show that only five lor­ries were spot­ted in the three es­tates – three at Or­bital and two at Sev­ing­ton.

One of the lor­ries parked at Or­bital was clamped that day as the driver had “nu­mer­ous out­stand­ing fines”.

The driver paid for six of the fines and the clamp was re­leased.

The re­port adds that new rules have also been brought in to stop driv­ers park­ing on foot­paths.

It says: “A per­sis­tent prob­lem and regularly com­plained about, in par­tic­u­lar in Elling­ham Way and Woot­ton Road, is that HGVs park on the foot­path.

“In the past we have been un­able to deal with this and re­lied on the po­lice to as­sist us­ing their pow­ers re­lat­ing to ob­struc­tion and driv­ing on the foot­path.”

How­ever, from last month, war­dens can now is­sue for­mal no­tices and fines to HGVs caught park­ing on the side of roads.

The re­port con­tin­ues: “This is not di­rectly linked to the clamp­ing trail. It is how­ever another tool in our tool­box that will al­low us to ad­dress the wider prob­lems caused by HGV park­ing.”

But the re­port also ac­knowl­edges prob­lems with dis­plac­ing lorry park­ing from one part of Ash­ford to another, adding: “So far as pre­vi­ously men­tioned dis­place­ment into residential ar­eas has not hap­pened apart from the rare and oc­ca­sional re­ported in­ci­dent.

“We have es­tab­lished that more HGVs are now park­ing at Cobbs Wood In­dus­trial es­tate.

“We are able to mea­sure this as this is an area we regularly checked be­fore the clamp­ing trial be­gan.

“We have re­cently no­ticed that this is the lo­ca­tion where some of our per­sis­tent evaders have re­lo­cated to.”

The scheme will be dis­cussed at a meet­ing at the Civic Cen­tre on Tues­day.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­

The threat of penalty charges and clamp­ing has seen a big drop in the num­ber of for­eign lor­ries il­le­gally parked up across Ash­ford

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