Campaigners' celebrations at Oswestry Health Centre parking changes may be short-lived

Reporter:

Emily Davies

Campaigners who celebrated the end of a long-running saga over dangerous parking at Oswestry’s health centre may have had their hopes dashed.

Double yellow lines were painted on the roads leading into the busy medical hub on Thursday meaning parking in that area – which has previously caused chaos for the likes of wheelchair users, and those with prams and pushchairs – will now be illegal.

However, within days of the paint drying, motorists are already flouting the law.

Shropshire and town councillor Paul Milner, who worked with the Oswestry Access Group to get the improvements, said: “I’m glad to see people with disabilities and pushchairs being able to access the building. I hope this will help because accessing dropped kerbs was the problems. But more overall work is needed.

“I think the double yellow lines will work but only as part of a bigger solution.

“Perhaps a ParkingEye scheme is needed because I don’t think this will solve the problem completely.

“The lines need enforcing. I’m at the centre now and there are nine cars parked on the double yellow lines with three or four parking spaces available in the car park.”

Roger Whitting, who resigned as Oswestry Access Group chairman earlier this year over a string of “broken promises” from NHS England to make alterations, welcomed the lines but added he does sympathise with motorists.

He said: “It has been a two-year battle for me. We have been promised so much but it never happened.

“It means people can now come to the centre and use the pavements because they can access the dropped kerbs. It will help so many people who were previously missing appointments because they couldn’t get through and had to go the long way round.”

But former Oswestry Mayor Margaret Chamberlain, who recently took over the role as chairman of the Oswestry Access Group, echoed Cllr Milner’s call for better enforcement.

She said: “I am sure they will be a help – that site has been an accident waiting to happen.”

Mrs Chamberlain, who used to use the centre regularly for hearing clinics, recalled how she had to press herself into the hedge to avoid scratching cars.

She added: “It was bad enough for me but we heard a similar experience from a member of the Access Group who is blind and uses a guide dog. It would be much worse for her and her dog. They were terrified.

“I just hope the yellow lines are enforced.”

The Advertizer has featured the parking issue throughout this year, asking why the nearby car park built specifically for health centre staff could not be accessed for them. North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson has called for some of the Wilfred Owen Green to expand the car park.

The centre includes the Cambrian Surgery, a dental centre, the Minor Injuries Unit and various clinics.

Email:

emily.davies@nwn.co.uk

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