All Hallows

An item was recently published about parking near All Hallows church in which the police said that:

“… parking around All Hallows church on a Sunday is endangering the lives of other road users.”

The item is here: Parking endangering lives.

The vicar of All Hallows, Kelvin Inglis, has asked that the following be published:

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PARKING

I met with the police last week for a constructive discussion of parking issues around All Hallows. I do all I can to encourage safe parking. From time to time I remind regular worshippers that if they bring their cars they are responsible for parking them safely. The main issue is the parking of cars too close to the junction of Wells Lane and Church Street. Ultimately this is the responsibility of the enforcement authorities.

Bad parking at ‘the Bend’ in Church Street has been seen twice in recent months and is extremely dangerous. On investigation by me, both incidents turned out to involve people walking down to the river. I instructed them to move their cars which they did. I have witnessed a number of incidents at this spot over the years and will continue to intervene without hesitation if I see dangerous behaviour.

As with many shops and public buildings in the town, All Hallows is not richly blessed with car parking facilities. We have a lay-by and a few spaces by the Vicarage. On-street parking is available on Church Street opposite the cricket field, and in Wells Lane. As a result most people who are able to walk or cycle do so, and cars tend to be driven by those who have further to come, or cannot walk the distance or are bringing equipment.

Weddings, funerals and other major events bring ‘visitors’ rather than regulars to the church. I would be very happy if all those people came in good time and found proper places to park but it is far from my power to be able to control this. The cricket club kindly make their field available when asked but this is a private arrangement concerning someone else’s land.

There are I think two questions here. One is about unsafe parking and there is no room for compromise here. Although just like a shopkeeper I cannot control where my callers park, I can seek to influence their decisions and will continue to do so by reminding them of the law. The other question is about inconvenience, and this is where, as has been debated before in our community, there has to be a spirit of compromise. If we want our rubbish collected, our shops stocked and visited, our industry busy, our children in schools and all our voluntary and religious and cultural activities to thrive, then we must accept that there will be traffic and parking and delays. The price we pay for living in a vibrant town is that sometimes we have to crawl rather than sweep through its streets in our cars. Common sense tells us that particular care and restraint must be exercised in the vicinity of certain buildings at certain times.

On balance, I for one would rather have activity and delay than barren streets and fast traffic.

Kelvin Inglis

Comments (1)

  • Adam Turner

    I’m not a member of Kelvin’s congregation but I do applaud his efforts. The only way to stop the poor parking is to issue tickets, regularly and consistently.

    As for the inconvenience factor – much of this should (and perhaps) could be prevented. Services are necessary but bins being emptied and shops stocked during rush hour / school run – surely there’s a better way.

    Perhaps we’ll find one after the ‘right’ number of children have been killed. For me that figure is 0

    We need our councillors to do more

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