Free car park to close permanently after motorists damage barriers
Written by The Newsroom on June 10, 2019
A free car park in Stone town centre is set to close – after some users removed and damaged council barriers.
Stone Town Council has operated the Northesk Street car park, which is part of the town’s former police station site, for several years. But the police station is now up for sale.
The town council had an agreement with Staffordshire Police that the car park could still be used until the site was sold – provided it was cleared at certain times to allow prospective buyers to view the site. The council also hoped to reach an agreement with the new owners to keep the car park open until they were ready to use the site themselves.
But barriers put up by the council to keep it clear for viewing times have been damaged and removed by motorists who parked their vehicles there – despite the temporary closures being signposted.
The council has had to spend more money reinstating the barriers. It also cannot guarantee to keep the car park clear for viewings, so on Friday it was announced that the car park would be handed back to Staffordshire Police “with immediate effect”.
Town council clerk Les Trigg said: “It is unfortunate that the actions of a few thoughtless individuals have resulted in the Northesk Street car park having to be handed back to the police earlier than the council would have liked.
“The council cannot, however, put itself in a position where it is unable to fulfil its agreement with the police or continue to incur unnecessary expenditure reinstating the barrier.”
(Image: Copyright Unknown)
A spokesperson for the Staffordshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s Office said: ‘We’ve always been keen to work with the council to allow the public to continue to park on this land for as long as possible.
“Given the recent actions of this minority we do now need to close it and try to maximise the money we raise from its sale to invest in policing Staffordshire.”
The handover of the Northesk Street car park follows the closure of another free car park operated by Stone Town Council earlier this year.
Land at Crown Wharf was also used as a car park for several years until March 11. Joule’s Brewery, which now owns the site, is working with the town council and Stone Revellers Theatre Group to build a new community theatre, flagship pub and heritage centre on the site.
Speaking in January former borough councillor Lynne Bakker-Collier said: “Maybe Stone Town Council will look at the parking situation in Stone and maybe they would look to increase parking. We have a shortage of parking in Stone and that is a considerable concern to most people.”
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