Dear Parishioners,

We are facing a growing problem in our village with the increase of vehicles owned by residents.

Our village dates back hundreds of years and, at its inception there was no need for parking areas as cars didn’t exist. We are faced now with a situation, as are similar villages all over the country, and no doubt the world, where we need to think carefully about how we handle the increase in vehicles.

The first and most obvious one would be to use your own driveway or garage if you have one to park your vehicles. Getting cars off the roadside makes it far safer than cluttering up the verges and roadsides around the village. We would urge anyone thinking of converting or building over driveways to think carefully about the impact that this will have on others around the village – Where will I park? Planning authorities can view the removal of a parking space as a detrimental aspect of planning applications, and could be refused on this basis.

There are regulations within the highway code that restrict where you can and cannot park. Section 243 of the Highway code states (amongst others) :

DO NOT stop or park

  • anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services
  • at or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank
  • opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space
  • in front of an entrance to a property

Section 22 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that :

Leaving vehicles in dangerous positions.

  • If a person in charge of a vehicle causes or permits the vehicle or a trailer drawn by it to remain at rest on a road in such a position or in such condition or in such circumstances as to [involve a danger of injury] to other persons using the road, he is guilty of an offence.

If you do have to park on the roadside, please remember that you must leave enough space to allow emergency vehicle access – we have areas in the village on a regular basis where this is simply not the case due to inappropriate parking. Would you want an ambulance or fire engine to be delayed getting to your house?

Parking close to a junction is also a regular occurrence. Exiting Mill Lane, and High Street on to Somerton Road can be extremely dangerous as views are blocked by vehicles and caravans parked literally on the junction, even the pavements. We have recently asked residents to remove vehicles close to junctions, only for them to be replaced by another resident’s vehicles, completely negating the action we took for safety reasons.

We would also remind everyone that overnight parking on the Village Green and the Village Hall car park is not permitted. Both facilities have multiple customers where these parking spaces are needed, and this reduces the capacity for the hirer. The Reading Room is a vital source of income for the Parish Council as we struggle to reconcile finances against our lower incomes as a smaller parish, and slower than expected Covid recovery.

Of course we realise that this is a very difficult subject to manage. All we ask is that you think about where, and how you are parking, and how that affects others around us. Please use common sense and, if anyone has any suggestions on how we might tackle this issue in a different way please get in touch with us! The last thing the parish council want to do is to start applying parking restrictions through Oxfordshire Highways and have these enforced.

Thank you for your consideration.