​Town parking plan needed

Caistor market place currently has time-limited parking - could a new layout create more spaces? Image: Dianne TuckettCaistor market place currently has time-limited parking - could a new layout create more spaces? Image: Dianne Tuckett
Caistor market place currently has time-limited parking - could a new layout create more spaces? Image: Dianne Tuckett
​A strategic plan for parking is needed to stop the town becoming ‘gridlocked’.

​That is the view of Caistor residents who attended the annual town meeting last Thursday, where parking for residents and visitors was the main topic of discussion.

With the Market Place and town hall offering time-limited parking, there are only the smaller South Street and Mill Lane car parks for long stay – and one of those areas will be lost in the next few months.

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Add to that the imminent start of work on the 2-4 Market Place project, which will see a number of car parking spaces within the market places being unusable, serious concerns were expressed over the parking situation and the effect it is having on residents and on businesses within the town.

Michael Galligan, a town resident for almost 40 years, summed up the thoughts of many when he said: “Although not yet at the point of being gridlocked within the town, parking has become a major issue for residents and visitors alike.

"The frequency and duration of periods Caistor is struggling to cope in the Market Place outside of special events [in the town] is on the increase, with the results visitors and residents move on to other destinations with a consequential impact for businesses trading in the town, therefore creating a negative result for Caistor’s economy.

"A number of surveys have been conducted over the years, but no clear strategy or actions have been formed. Major logistical problems are ahead – sooner rather than later… Action is needed now.”

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A number of comments had been received ahead of the town meeting, which Coun Stuart Davey, as chairman of the estates committee, read out.

Included in these was a suggestion of a one-way system, which is something that has been previously looked at, and plans for this still exist. That layout created more parking in the Market Place and down Plough Hill.

Coun Davey said: “Suggestions on ways to create more parking have come in from members of the council and the community.

"These include, but are in no way exhaustive, extending the existing sports field car park alongside North Kelsey Road; to ensure residents can park in proximity of their own homes, a residents’ parking permit scheme could be introduced in problem areas such as Plough Hill; look at the layout of the Market Place as more car parking places could be marked out; turn some or all of South Street Park into a car park; turn Millfields Park into a car park; repurposing the old West Lindsey site in Southdale as a long-stay car park; compulsory purchase and demolish the flats on the former gas works in Horsemarket.”

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However, Coun Davey said by far the largest number of comments and suggestions were regarding the former West Lindsey Depot site on the corner of Mill Lane and Wold View, now owned by Acis. The buildings having been demolished, Caistor Town Council has had temporary permission to use part of the site as a car park.

Coun Davey said: “We currently have 10 places in this car park. It is the only place within a one and a half – mile walk of Caistor that could house a car park for 30-plus vehicles, but unfortunately this is no longer a viable option, as we [the town council] have received correspondence from Acis in the last couple of days to say they will not sell the land, as they will be applying for planning permission to build eight to 10 houses.

"Parking permission for the council [on the Acis site] will be withdrawn in the next three to four months.”

After almost two hours of discussion over solutions to Caistor’s parking problem, it was agreed to set up a sub group to look at creating a parking strategy, with a number of volunteers coming forward to work on it.

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