Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Wednesday's in Penkridge

I feel like going out Town Crying and telling people to avoid Penkridge at all costs on Wednesdays. Why? Well, today I had to collect a 90 year old lady who was disabled and take her to her hairdressers in the village and that entailed using the A449. As usual, on a Wednesday, the A449 was gridlocked with people queuing from outside the village to go to Penkridge Market - to the car park by the River Penk off the A449 near Bull Bridge. I eventually made it by trebling the mileage it usually takes. While she was having a wash and set, she asked me if I would go to the market for her but there was no way I could cross the A449 in the car so I came home and my wife agreed to walk to the market and collect her order.

An hour later I then collected my client from the hairdressers and took her to the Co-op to buy her food for the week. I eventually managed to find a space in the Co-op car park but while waiting in the car I watched cars pouring into the car park and unable to find any spaces, reversing out again, causing all kinds of problems for other cars and pedestrians. Not that everybody was shopping in the Co-op - I saw several people not only parking in disabled spaces although they didn't display a Blue Badge, but also walking off into the village and NOT into the Co-op.

There wasn't a space to park anywhere in the village this morning - the Chapel Car Park was completely full and all the road verge spaces were taken. Co-op car park full and all Market Street - the most dangerous place to walk in the village - narrow pavements and cars parked all down one side. Bellbrook completely full of cars and even Haling Road (Belbrook end) narrowed down to one way right up to the junction with illegally parked cars.

Our Penkridge Market is becoming more popular but at the expense of safety and inconvenience to many local people on market days. We have nowhere to create any more car parks as the planners have allowed development on ALL our open spaces in the community. THE CAR HAS TAKEN OVER PENKRIDGE - WE ALL COMPLAIN THAT SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT IT BUT WE DON'T WANT TO ADMIT THAT WE COULD EASILY SOLVE THE PROBLEM OURSELVES. I tried - I got rid of my car. My wife has one and we share it. I have a bike although its not very safe to ride a bike in Penkridge (particularly on Wednesdays).

Practically all Penkridge houses have two cars, sometimes three - some even four, parked in their drive or on the road every night. If they were all parked outside the house on the road at the same time - Penkridge would entirely become grid-locked.

A Big Problem - but when we ask the experts to suggest solutions - there is a big outcry as the only solution is to control where cars go and where they are parked. Everybody would appear to feel that they have a right to take their cars wherever they want to take their bodies. THE CAR IS NOT PART OF YOU - YOUR MOTHER DIDN'T GIVE BIRTH TO YOU AND TO YOUR CAR. YOU WEREN'T BORN WITH A CAR!

There are other ways of getting around our community - dare I say "walk, or ride, or share - whether it be by car, bus or train". WE HAVE TO REDUCE OUR DEPENDENCE ON THE CAR IF PENKRIDGE IS GOING TO BE A PLEASANT PLACE TO LIVE.

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