Ban on grass verge parking in Welwyn Hatfield ‘doesn’t go far enough’

ATTEMPTS to stop grass verge parking have been slammed as a “dog’s dinner”.

Five roads in WGC town centre, all of which have parking bays and very little grass, are to be the first to see fines introduced to those parking on both footpaths and verges.

At a meeting on Thursday, the Welwyn Hatfield highways joint members’ panel decided initial Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) would go ahead in Howardsgate, Stonehills, Church Road, Wigmores North and Fretherne Road.

However, with no clue as to whether the restrictions would be enforced after 6pm and a lack of borough-wide coverage, Lib Dem county and borough councillor Malcolm Cowan denounced the plans as a waste of time and money.

The Peartree ward representative said: “We will be dead before anything significant happens.

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“They should just get on with it and do it; this is an absolute dog’s dinner.”

The introduction of the TROs – which will take six to nine months – will see signs go up on each of the roads.

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The total cost is about �10,000.

According to Herts Highways’ estimations, it would only cost a minimal amount more to extend the project to a larger area.

Further questions as to whether a long-standing by-law – stopping parking on verges – could be introduced was also dismissed.

After the meeting Cllr Cowan told the WHT: “This showed local government at its worst – slow, unresponsive and obsessed with procedures rather than results.

“People have showed by their comments to the WHT that they want and expect action on stopping the churning up of our verges.”

He added: “We face yet another churned up winter through this abdication of responsibility.”

However, Conservative councillor Mandy Perkins said if the scheme was to be introduced borough-wide then residents in areas like Howlands wouldn’t be able to park.

“I have residents telling me that they don’t want to park on verges but they have no choice, otherwise they will have to walk half-a-mile or more,” the Welwyn West ward representative said.

Panel chairman, county councillor Richard Smith, said: “This [issue] has been around for a long time and I think this [TRO] represents progress.

“We have come a long way. This, at least, is a right move to address the problem.”

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