Shopkeepers slam ‘wild west’ parking in unclaimed Welwyn Garden City service road

PUBLISHED: 13:12 17 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:22 17 February 2017

Parked cars in behind the shops in Fretherne Road and Howardsgate.

Parked cars in behind the shops in Fretherne Road and Howardsgate.

Archant

Welwyn Garden City shopkeepers are furious at the “wild west” parking and fly-tipping that they claim is festering behind their premises.

A fridge among items dumped in the service road. A fridge among items dumped in the service road.

The service road behind businesses in Howardsgate and Fretherne Road is rife with fly-tipping, chaotic parking and dumped rubbish, according to several owners.

Many claimed that ‘no parking’ signs are repeatedly torn down, so ticket offices cannot issue fines – and the landowners no longer put them back up.

Nicola Gibson, owner of Lambert’s Flower Company in Howardsgate, said: “It’s an absolute nightmare and totally unsafe.

“The amount of cars that belong to people who do not even work or live in this bit, and you see them come in and leave their cars in the most ridiculous places.

Where one of the 'no parking' signs used to be. Where one of the 'no parking' signs used to be.

“If there was an accident and a fire engine had to come, it wouldn’t be able to get round without smashing through the cars.”

She said the problem, which has got progressively worse over the last two years, is damaging her business, as the delivery vehicles cannot get near the shop.

Poppy McMillan, a beauty therapist at All About Me, said: “It’s just mayhem round there.

“There are so many cars down there that you literally just can’t turn around.

Nicola Gibson, owner of Labert's Flower Company in Howardsgate. Nicola Gibson, owner of Labert's Flower Company in Howardsgate.

“You have people round there who are working in the Howard Centre.”

It has emerged that the land was previously owned by Wisefix Ltd, and run on its behalf by Brown and Lee.

But after the former was dissolved in December 2016, Brown and Lee is no longer responsible for the road, and it is unclear who now owns and monitors it.

Glyn Cullen, manager of Timpson in Fretherne Road, said the patch was like the “wild west”, and claimed as well as being targeted by fly-tippers, rubbish often piles up because bin trucks struggle to gain access.

“It’s just got ridiculous,” he told the WHT. “It’s such a mess and just seems like no one is taking responsibility for it or doing anything about it.

“The council won’t do it because it is private land and the landowners seem to have forgotten about it and left it to fester.”

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