Drivers parking at town’s cenotaph ‘are disrespectful’
CARS and vans parking at the cenotaph in the middle of a Valleys town have been condemned and described as “disrespectful”.
People have grown frustrated at vehicles’ “abuse” by parking at the monument in Aberdare, and want to put a stop to it, whether that’s by blocking the space with a bench and garden, or putting railings around it.
It’s been the subject of social media posts, and local resident Graham Marsh said: “The essence of some heated debate this week has been the continued abuse and disrespect of Aberdare’s cenotaph by some businesses and residents who obviously have no regard for what our cenotaph represents – the darkest of times in our history and the bravest of people.”
He said the “main cause” of frustration was that people are using the cenotaph’s paved area as a free parking bay to use the shops nearby.
He added: “This frustration is compounded by a lack of enforcement for the parking offence by the council and a lack of understanding on the part of the police as to the level of vexation this can cause.
“As part of the work of Aberdare’s Business and Tourism Association, I have asked the council on a number of occasions to make funds available to solve this problem, without success.”
He said those solutions included putting flower planters around the area, which he said would help as it would also improve the appearance of the whole square.
First unveiled in 1923, the cenotaph commemorates those who died in the First and Second world wars.
Mr Marsh added: “Because of the frustration, social media this week has seen a number ideas to remedy this problem, with railings, memorial bench and garden, all being proposed.”
Most recently, contractors working for NatWest to close down the Aberdare branch were spotted parking on the pavement next to the cenotaph last weekend.
On that occasion, Mr Marsh tweeted a picture of a van parked on the pavement: “Isn’t it bad enough that @NatWest_Help is abandoning Aberdare town, now their contractors are disrespecting our cenotaph.”
Responding to the comments, a NatWest spokesman said: “NatWest would like to apologise for this issue. The van should never have been parked there and it’s not something that will happen again.”
A Rhondda Cynon Taf council spokesman said: “There is no excuse for parking on the Aberdare cenotaph and parking enforcement officers will continue to target this area, and work with the police, to enforce the parking restrictions in place.
“The council is also considering options for a solution to resolve this issue. This will be in liaison with the Royal British Legion.”
A car parked near Aberdare’s cenotaph