Businesses hit out over plans for parking restrictions
Scheme aims to improve safety of village roads
Business owners have spoken of their anger and disappointment over plans to introduce parking restrictions in Wye.
Members of the Joint Transportation Board approved the proposal for a traffic management scheme at its meeting earlier this month, which is designed to address safety concerns within the village.
The scheme will see double yellow lines introduced close to the entrance of the railway station’s car park, in Bramble Street, on both sides of the road along a section of Bridge Street, and at the bottom end of Churchfield Way, again, on both sides of the road.
It is hoped this will allow for a free flow of traffic at several pinch-points, and will “avoid danger to people or other traffic using these roads”.
At the same time, bus stop clearways will also be placed in Bridge Street, Upper Bridge Street and the High Street.
Two areas of limited-stay parking in the High Street and Olantigh Road are also set to be removed.
Although the proposal had the support of the parish council and ward member for Ashford Borough Council, Cllr Noel Ovenden, objections were put forward by the Wye Business Association (WBA).
Secretary Ian Cooling, who spoke at the meeting, said the proposed scheme would see between 12 and 15 spaces removed across the village.
He said: “There are pinchpoints around the village.
“There are stoppages, perhaps one or two a month and none lasts more than a few minutes. The solution is the imposition of double yellow lines in force 24 hours a day every single day of the year.
“There are no traffic matters in Wye of any sort that require such draconian measures.”
He added that there was already a “chronic shortage of parking places” in Wye and that road safety measures need to be proportionate, adding that Kent County Council’s figures show 14 accidents recorded in and around the village between 2000 to 2010, but not one was attributable to parked cars.
However, despite Mr Cool- ing’s appeal, the measures were approved.
Board member and Kent County Council Cllr Andrew Wickham, said: “I support this in the same way the ward member does. The spaces are being taken away in areas where there are access problems. This is the right way forward.”
Following the meeting, WBA member Peter Sutherland, who owns Ticketyboo gift shop, in Bridge Street, with his wife Ann, said he was frustrated the scheme is going ahead.
He said: “We are disappointed. Nine businesses will be affected by the lines in Bridge Street, plus there will be knock-on effects.
“What angers me is that this has been decided by people who don’t live here, or work here.”
‘There are stoppages, perhaps one or two a month and none lasts more than a few minutes. The solution is the imposition of double yellow lines in force 24 hours a day every single day of the year’
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Bridge Street will have double yellow lines
Churchfield Way will have double yellow lines
Peter and Ann Sutherland owners of Ticketyboo art and gift shop are unhappy with the planned changes