'University should apologise to the people of Hatfield over parking debacle' claims politician

PUBLISHED: 15:17 08 April 2015 | UPDATED: 15:17 08 April 2015

Cllr John Fitzpatrick

Cllr John Fitzpatrick

Archant

Businesses in Hatfield are losing trade because of university contractors taking up valuable parking spaces, a politician has fumed.

In an open letter to the University of Hertfordshire’s vice chancellor, Councillor John Fitzpatrick demanded an apology for traders at the Highview Shopping Centre.

In a letter to vice-chancellor Quintin McKeller, the Labour councillor wrote: “What we have seen is a complete lack of ownership of these problems by the University. I find this wholly unacceptable.”

He said it was unclear how much business had been lost, but said neighbours had also complained about streets being clogged up.

Cllr Fitzpatrick wrote: “We are regularly told about the significant financial benefit that the University makes to Hatfield.

“However, issues such as this have a significant detrimental impact on local businesses and residents.

“Therefore, in addition to a prompt resolution to the problem, I expect an apology to the businesses of Hilltop and the residents of Hatfield.”

Contractors are building new blocks with 1,500 extra rooms for students in College Lane.

Andrew May, the univesity’s director of estates, said steps were being taken, including highlighting concerns to workers and encouraging car sharing.

He said: “We recognise that this increase has put pressure on the parking availability in the Hilltop area and we are working with our building contractors to address any issues.”

He said construction traffic was being diverted to the town’s park and ride or the campus.

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