Taken for a ride over parking

Angela Tait, Tam Kemp, Katherine Kemp and Frances Williamson in the packed car park outside their homes in St Vincent Place.
Angela Tait, Tam Kemp, Katherine Kemp and Frances Williamson in the packed car park outside their homes in St Vincent Place.

Residents are raging that their parking spaces are being grabbed by commuters and even holidaymakers using Motherwell’s train station.

One man told this week how he was forced to go to the police after two cars blocked him in for two days.

People who live in St Vincent Place say the situation has become intolerable since a car park for commuters opened in nearby Muir Street.

Tam Kemp said drivers who can’t find a space there simply leave their vehicles in the St Vincent Place residents’ car park. For him the situation came to a head on Tuesday last week when he couldn’t move his car which he’d parked directly outside his home.

Mr Kemp said: “I contacted the police and they tracked down one of the drivers, who was actually from Stirling, but it was Thursday before he moved his vehicle.

“My wife, Katherine, was taken to hospital with a stroke and the ambulance couldn’t get in until a car was moved. She got out on Monday night last week. Had I needed to take her back I would have been snookered.”

The free car park attracts drivers who catch the train at Motherwell, but Mr Kemp says there should be a limit on how long they can park.

Mr Kemp said: “When the car park’s full they take our spaces. I get dog’s abuse when I ask how they’d like someone parking in their space.

“Free parking brings drivers here from places like Hamilton and East Kilbride. I’ve even seen holidaymakers take suitcases from their car and go to the station, returning a week or two later.”

There is a faded sign which states parking in St Vincent Place is for residents only, but Mr Kemp said drivers either don’t see it or ignore it.

On-street parking has also increased in nearby Milton Street as drivers leave vehicles there. Mr Kemp said it all restricts visibility for drivers and spells danger for children playing outside.

North Lanarkshire Council says it has no plans to alter the situation in Muir Street.

Bill Hazel, business manager for roads operations, said: “There are no time limits on the car park and we have no plans at present to introduce this.

“If a vehicle is causing an obstruction, Police Scotland have the power to deal with that.

“Although St Vincent Place is a private road the public can access it. Unless the car park is legally part of an individual resident’s feu the public can use it.”