Nuisance parkers at County Ground to be halted

Swindon Advertiser: Commuters and those who park along the road close to the County Ground recreation area will now not be able to. Pictured is Cllr Junab Ali at the gates Commuters and those who park along the road close to the County Ground recreation area will now not be able to. Pictured is Cllr Junab Ali at the gates

DRIVERS in search of a free parking space will no longer be able to leave their vehicles on paths leading up to the County Ground.

A five-inch padlock is now bolted on to a new green gate which has been put up to keep out nuisance parkers at the recreational area of County Ground.

Swindon Council has installed the gate following a huge campaign by residents who say the vehicles parked along grass verges and along the small road, made it difficult for sports teams to reach the fields.

In some cases matches have had to be delayed or cancelled.

Disabled sport users have been forced to abandon their mini buses hired to chauffeur them to the pitch, and be wheeled across unstable surfaces to reach their games.

Maintenance workers were also struggling to drive their vans into the grounds to carry out their work.

“This has been an ongoing issue for some years,” said Councillor Junab Ali, who represents the Central ward.

“The residents have complained that they were not able to access the bowls or cricket fields and walks because of the cars. It’s been dangerous for families who walk along with their kids.

“We are here to serve the residents of this town and I’m pleased we are able to help them in this case.

“It is unfortunate that we have to take this action because of a few inconsiderate parkers.”

He added green spaces running along the road have been ruined by drivers parking inconsiderately.

Frances Barrone, who works as Swindon Council’s Town Centre locality facilitator said she was pleased to see the gates put up.

“It will make it easier for families and teams to use the area,” said Mrs Barrone. “I’ve never heard of an accident here but congestion makes it difficult to access the facilities.”

Jamie Osborn from Croft Athletics club said some of his mini buses, ferrying disabled people in to use the facilities, have not been able to get passed the parked cars.

“They have struggled to get through,” said Jamie. “The road surface is pretty uneven and it turns it into a health and safety issue.”

He said he has also heard of cars being broken into at night because it is quite a secluded area.

Groundsmen will be on hand to open the gate should sports users’ vehicles need to drive through.

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