AN OSWESTRY Town Council councillor insists he will not drop the matter of changes to one of the town centre's car parks.

Councillor Mike Isherwood remains determined that expert opinion will be sought to find out whether safety improvements can be made to Central Car Park.

He has also asked about the possibility of making the car park, in English Walls, pay on exit, in order to modernise the facilities and offer more options for car park users.

Councillors had approved a motion put forward by Cllr Isherwood in June, but last week decided against proceeding with it.

But he has reassured people living near the car park that he will not drop the matter.

He said: “The decision taken last week to abandon this key study and look solely at payment methods was perverse and made a waste of our officers’ time and energy.

“Some members effectively pre-empted the outcome of the report and said that its recommendations would cost money they didn’t want to spend.

“Well, I rather think public safety should be put above finances. Decisions about changes to the payment system need to be made in the light of expert opinion on safety and functionality, otherwise we risk tying our hands if we commit to and install equipment which then proves incompatible with those conclusions.

“It may be of interest to note that at that meeting, every one of your Green Party councillors attended and voted for my proposal to progress with the study.

“Every Conservative who was there voted against, with the exception of Cllr Paul Milner, meaning it failed 6-7.

“I promise local residents, who have been pleading with the Council to properly address their concerns for years: I am not going to drop this matter and will make further attempts to get my proposal accepted as soon as I can.”

Cllr Isherwood believes a traffic study and a study regarding the safety of the exit would be beneficial and could prevent safety issues in the future.

He said: “Introducing pay-on-exit might well improve the problem of people using the space as a race track and a facility which puts users in control of when they want to leave could benefit businesses in town by removing the pressure for people to rush back to their cars before their ticket runs out.

“However, local residents have long been concerned about the safety of the car park’s exit onto Roft Street, where several older people have suffered traumatic collisions or near-misses with vehicles pulling out as they try to cross.

“The proposal I made in June, which Cllr Milner supported, was to look at payment options but at the same time commission a detailed report into the functioning of the carpark, focusing on the safety, design and location of the entrance and exit in order to properly understand whether changes need to be made.

“Only by doing this can we avoid the risk of spending public money investing in equipment and then realising later that it is in the wrong place and we have only addressed part of the problem.”