Inspector makes judgement over Chesterfield town centre parking

Parking on New Square, Chesterfield.

Parking on New Square, Chesterfield.

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A planning inspector has recommended that part of Chesterfield town centre should be made a restricted parking zone.

Derbyshire County Council wants to change restrictions in the New Square area of the town where drivers often park illegally and inconsiderately – compromising pedestrian safety and access for emergency vehicles.

The proposal was subject to a £30,000 public inquiry in Chesterfield earlier this year as the council received an objection to its idea from a Thursday market trader.

A council spokesman said today: "The planning inspector has recommended that the order be made as advertised.

"This will be considered by the cabinet member responsible for this service at a meeting in January before a final decision is made.

"If it is agreed, the restrictions will be in place by the end of January.

"Temporary signs will go up advertising the changes, followed by permanent signs."

Currently, the area is controlled by signs allowing traders access for loading and unloading only.

Under the council's plans, the area would be made a restricted zone, which would see loading and unloading of vehicles banned between 10am and 4pm.

Additionally, police powers would be handed to the council's civil parking enforcement officers – allowing them to spend more time keeping the area free of illegally-parked vehicles.

The council said it believes its plans are the 'best way forward'.

Inspector John Turner, who is in charge of policing in the Chesterfield area, added: "Officers will take action against anyone found breaching the current restrictions to help us ensure the safety of people in Chesterfield town centre.

"I would like to remind drivers of the importance of parking legally and considerately and with respect for others using the area.

"Motorists should only enter through the ‘no vehicle’ signs at the top of Glumangate if they have legitimate access for loading and unloading, access to private car parks or blue badges.

"Vans and lorries should leave the area after they have loaded or unloaded. Vehicles causing an obstruction will be dealt with, bearing in mind that the fire service may need access in an emergency situation."

In 2014, a woman collapsed and ambulance crews struggled to get to her because of the high number of parked vehicles in the area.