Victory for residents in parking bay battle

RESIDENTS of an Ipswich street were today claiming victory over borough bureaucrats in their battle over parking spaces.

RESIDENTS of an Ipswich street were today claiming victory over borough bureaucrats in their battle over parking spaces.

Residents in Orford Street said the decision to move parking bays from one side of the road to the other was “non-sensical” and “a waste of money”, especially now that Ipswich council has decided to move the bays back to their original position.

The Evening Star can today reveal how;

The council has admitted there was no reason for the bays to swap from one side of the road to the other in the first place

It has now carried out a u-turn and decided to move the bays back at a cost of hundreds of pounds to the taxpayer

Before The Star got in contact with the council, resurfacing work on the road was going to take place and the bays were going to be put back as they are now.

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The row began after changes were made to parking restrictions in the area in March, which included painting double yellow lines around all corners and moving four parking bays from one side of the road between Alpe Street and Cardigan Street, to the other.

This prompted a protest by residents as they said the swapping locations of the bays was pointless and said it increased traffic speed.

A meeting with borough engineers back in March had to be held in the street as too many people tried to get into the organiser's home and the council officials refused to meet in the local pub.

Now Paul West, spokesman for transport and highways at Ipswich council, has reversed the decision given the public strength of feeling about it.

He said: “Because it caused a lot of unrest, I asked the engineers to look at it again and they could not give me a technical justification of why it should be on one side or the other. I accept this chapter has been unfortunate.”

The cost of the change is roughly �750, which is funded from the Suffolk County Council's minor traffic management budget for 2009/2010.

Water conservation advisor Alex Hayton, 27, lives in Orford Street with his girlfriend and said the council had simply wasted time and money.

He said: “We're going to end up with them all back where they were. They don't seem to know what they're doing. There just hasn't been a proper review of it all.”

David Ridley, a dock worker and father of four who has lived on the street for seven years, said there were many parking-related issues in the area.

He said: “It's all annoying to residents who have to pay for parking permits. One thing was swapping the bays from one side of the road to the other. They did the work for no apparent reason.

“It's ridiculous. It's just a waste of time and money.”

How has the council handled this matter? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

IN another twist, the road is due to resurfaced in a few weeks time and originally the council planned to re-paint the bays as they are now, before swapping them to the opposite side at the end of May.

However after the Star spoke to Mr West, he said the intention now was to synchronise the work as the two dates to resurface the road and change the bays were so close together.

The residents are also still concerned that since the changes, there are even fewer permit places in the immediate area, meaning they have to park their car as far away as Fonnereau Road.

Mr West added that the changes made to all parking restrictions in the area will be reviewed in September and residents will get a chance to put forward their concerns.