New Thorpe Bay crossing will mean less parking say residents angry over lack of consultation

A new crossing to make a busy shopping parade safer for wheelchair-users and disabled residents has sparked a row in Thorpe Bay as residents fear parking spaces could be lost.

Angry residents claim they have been consulted on plans for a new crossing in The Broadway, which Thorpe Bay councillors have been pushing for.

Work was due to start this week but residents say there is a host of concerns, including no resident consultation, no vote was taken by councillors, and no statutory notices have been displayed, including a road closure notice for the work to be carried out.

However, Ron Woodley, Residents First councillor for Thorpe Ward, said it was untrue that residents would lose eight parking bays.

Kim Hall, from Thorpe Bay Residents’ Association, said: “It appears it has gone through without anyone’s agreement so no notices, no working party, nothing. It’s all been pushed through by Councillor Woodley.

“Businesses along there have definitely not been notified and they are not very happy as a result.”

Ms Hall said she believed eight parking bays would go, although councillors have dismissed this.

She added: “Our view is that before any major works people have to be consulted but he seems to have by-passed all of that. You’ve got to ask who has authorized it. There is nothing the budget for this so I don’t know where they are getting the money from.”

Cllr Woodley said: “As councillors, Mike Stafford, Martin Terry and I were asked if we can have a crossing between each end of the parade and it can be done under the 2010 Equalities Act to make sure that people with disabilities have the same access as those with normal situations.

“The highways department requested it and did the study over two or three years and agreed that it needs to be put in there because of the act. There is no loss of the disabled bays. It will be in between the disabled bays. Only two parking bays will go.

“Whether or not the highways department has advertised it I’m not sure but that’s down to the council. If they haven’t advertised it they may be able to do it because of the Equalities Act so the need to advertise may not be there.”

Cllr Woodley added: “It’s not only the disabled. We get a lot of people with young children and prams and there is no crossing at all.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter