YOU don’t have to go far to find examples of a parking problem that is blighting many roads and streets in Basingstoke and Deane.
In many areas of the town and borough, people are increasingly having to park their cars in places where they shouldn’t, and don’t want to, because the roads and streets cannot cope.
The situation has now got so bad that opposition Labour councillors have called for more action from the borough council’s ruling Conservative administration to do something to alleviate the worst cases of overcrowded residential parking.
Labour ward members from Norden, Popley, Brighton Hill, and Rooksdown will next week urge the council to release up to £1million from the council’s reserves to tackle the problem, amid accusations that the Conservative administration is “brushing the issue under the carpet”.
Brighton Hill Labour councillor David Eyre said the shortage of residential parking has reached “crisis point” in the area he represents, and he believes Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council needs to take immediate action by building more bays.
“It is going to get a lot worse before it gets better,” said Cllr Eyre. “When I was campaigning before being elected in May, I would say that the lack of parking for residents was typically the first thing people would say to me is the problem.”
Six years ago, the borough council published a list of roads that were earmarked fort improvement. The list, ranked by priority, identified 385 streets – but since it was published, only 18 have been improved.
This financial year, £141,000 has been set aside to improve two roads in Basingstoke – Margaret Road and Kings Road, both in South Ham. If there is any money left over, Barry Way, in Brighton Hill, and St Patrick’s Road, South Ham, will also be addressed.
But Cllr Eyre said residents further down the list face waiting years for improvements.
“The current strategy is not going to work,” said the Brighton Hill South ward member. “In reality, improving two or three roads a year when you have a list as long as your arm is frankly pathetic.”
He said more investment would alleviate the problem, and added that previous work to improve Brighton Hill’s Schubert Road had significantly tackled congestion. The £84,000 scheme launched last year saw an additional 40 parking bays created.
Labour councillors will table a motion at the October 11 full council meeting, calling for the administration to set aside £1m of the £3.5m budget surplus the council banked over 2011-12 for a “one-off parking project”.
“The money would help to tackle the worst roads in Basingstoke,” said Norden’s Cllr Paul Harvey. “From Popley to Brighton Hill, Buckskin to Eastrop, this is one of the largest issues we face in the borough.”