Residents hit out at double yellow line plan to protect Chelmsford bus service

Residents are set to get double yellow lines outside their homes so a bus service can be protected in Chelmsford.

Essex Highways has agreed to ban stopping at any time on the Maltings Road roundabout and for 10 metres at each road off it, to allow buses and larger vehicles easier access.

However residents say parking is already very limited on the Maltings estate and the changes will mean many people will have to park away from homes.

Essex County Council says the changes will help protect the C6 bus service which is in danger of being lost completely if reliability and journey time issues are not addressed.

It says the decline in service level goes against Essex’s commitment to sustaining public transport. However, residents say the plans are unfair.

One said in representations to the council: “I think the proposals are unnecessary and would cause great inconvenience to all residents in the area meaning many people would have to park a long way away from their homes.

“I understand that buses may have difficulty getting around the island but there is no reason to restrict parking completely on the roundabout, maybe just the sections on the North side of the East and West side arms adjacent to the roundabout. There is no need to restrict parking on the side North and South side arms at all, let alone for 10 metres. These arms are not used by buses at all. Also, the buses only travel from West to East so there is no need to restrict parking on the South side of the East and West side arms.”

Another said: “With parking already very limited this would mean taking valuable parking spaces away that would accommodate eight to 12 vehicles with nowhere else to park.”

Another added: “I don’t believe that removing people’s means of parking is the answer. Parking down each road is limited and very much has a first come, first served basis, it will affect myself, my partner who parks there when she stays at weekends, even my father, whom I live with, friends that visit during the week and/or weekends.

“I feel this would affect the people who actually live here more than the amount of people that use the bus. I believe the many should have righter than the few, whom use the bus.”

A response from Essex County Council said: “Whilst we appreciate that some of the restrictions will displace some of the parking, many of the properties in this area do have the ability to have off street parking.

“With parked vehicles on the perimeter of the roundabout it has been reported to us on a regular basis that buses cannot perform the manoeuvre without difficulties. If we introduced no parking on the roundabout only, that parking could go on to the arms off the roundabout, nobody should be parking with 10 metres of a junction as the highway code stipulates. It is the practice of Essex County Council to normally install 15 metres at any junction, longer if required. If you are not the owner of the property, is it possible for you to approach them to install off street parking?

“Highway Law states ‘the highway is to pass and repass’ and this statement must always be behind any decision that is made, we cannot be governed by the lack of parking on the highway – where possible the highways authority allows it in some areas as it can assist with traffic calming, and we do on occasions put parking restrictions on both sides of the carriageway, although if the restrictions are only on one side, the parked vehicles move to the other side, which residents dislike.”

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter