COUNCILLORS are proposing putting the brakes on night time parking in Stone’s Market Square – after finding out there were no legal barriers against it.
Fears for the safety of diners and youngsters visiting Market Square in the evening, as well as the potential damage to the paving from motors, have prompted Stone Town Council to consider installing bollards between the square and the High Street.
On one occasion there were 17 cars parked in the square on a Saturday night, Councillor Jill Hood said, adding that a local advert had suggested free parking was available there.
“I don’t think it is fair on the traders and it is certainly not something we want – our biggest meeting square turning into a car park at night,” she said.
“We paid a lot of money for the stone there. And in the summer time The Lounge has tables and chairs outside, and there are children running about. The cars are parking alongside the tables and chairs and there is no excuse for them to park there.”
Councillor Hood said there had been confusion on whether it was legal to drive down the High Street and park in Market Square at night.
But at last week’s meeting councillors were told that vehicles were permitted to use the High Street for access only at night, whereas there were no orders in place banning parking in Market Square.
Using the High Street to get to Market Square was considered access only, as Market Square is private land owned by the town council.
But Councillor Geoff Collier said: “Car parking in that square is absolutely diabolical. There will be puddles of oil, it’s wrong for that to happen.
“There has to be some way of stopping this. I understand the High Street has to be open at night but we should think about putting bollards in the front of the square itself.”
Speaking after the meeting Councillor Green added that he had also seen motors cutting through the High Street to avoid the town centre ring road system after 4pm.
He said: “After 4pm you have young people walking down there and I just don’t think it is safe. I know people go there just to get money from the cash points but they should park round the back and walk in.
If you cut a child down when you get money out is it worth it?”