Parking charges drive away stadium visitors
MOTORISTS refusing to pay new parking charges at Northwood Stadium are being blamed for clogging up neighbouring streets.
Pay-and-display charges of £1 for up to an hour and £4 all day were introduced at the stadium, below, this summer to boost city council coffers.
But many drivers are shunning the charges to park in the Keelings Road area of Northwood for free.
The parking problems come as residents are already campaigning to stop drivers speeding along the 30mph Keelings Road.
Carol James, aged 65, of Keelings Road, said: "This is a dangerous road as it is, without the added danger of cars being parked all along there making it impossible to cross it safely.
"My husband hasn't been able to park outside our house since the parking charges came into force.
"Whenever there's an event on at the stadium it is terrible and all because people don't want to pay to park on there.
"If you've made the mistake of going out while there's an event on at the stadium then you've had it – you'll never get a space.
Liam Booth, aged 26, who lives in Keelings Road but does not drive, said: "I have a four-year-old child and we are having to cross the road from in between parked cars and sometimes vans.
"The road is already extremely dangerous but this situation just makes it even more risky."
Gary Palmer, aged 48, who lives just off Keelings Road, said: "It was crazy down here on Sunday with cars parked all along both sides.
"The police were coming up and down and seemed to be checking things but there was no hope of getting a space nearby.
"The drivers are parking on the side roads and all round the shops too, all to avoid paying out £1."
Parking charges have been introduced at the stadium in the latest attempt to protect its future.
Councillor Paul Breeze, who is a member of the stadium's development group, said: "Just 12 months ago we were faced with the prospect of the stadium closing.
"New facilities have now been installed and we've kept it open, but it has to be paid for.
"People are going to have to pay to park there because it is not fair on the local residents for people to be preventing them from parking outside their homes.
"These are side effects that we hadn't anticipated and now they've been raised they will be addressed."
Mr Breeze, right, said he would be consulting residents about the issue and look into the possibility of installing yellow lines further along Keelings Road to stop people from parking there.