No vehicles at any time. Well… except for these vehicles

8 Dec

The signage at the bottom of St Stephens Lane leading to Arras Sq in Ipswich could not be clearer. ‘No vehicles at any time except for loading’

I have been keeping an eye on the place for a few months because there seems to be no enforcement and I noticed that many of the same cars parked there every day all day. Yesterday I was there in mid morning when all the usual cars were joined by people actually delivering which were causing a serious problem:

Almost impassable

Arras Sq 2

Arras Sq 3

Arras Sq 5

Some of the vehicles are genuinely ‘loading/unloading’ however many are not. One owner who came out of his shop and asked me why I had taken a photo of his car was good enough to say that he would support me in clearing the square of his and other people’s cars so that ‘they could have a market of something’. He explained that other shop keepers had told him it was fine to park there!

Incidentally the square is named in memory of the 150,000 British soldiers who died near Arras in WW1 including men from four Suffolk battalions. At one time 25,000 soliders were billeted right under the noses of the Germans in caves under the city virtually under the German lines. The caves opened the public in 2008 and are well worth visiting.

Just to show that this isn’t a one-off. Here is the same red car using the same spot back in March 2010. And… if it you look carefully it was also there when the Google streetview car passed the end of the street!

The same car using the same spot nine months ago in March 2010

Nice bench, shame that no one can use it.

Nice bench, shame about the car

Ironically, one of the worst offenders, was the manager at ‘Black Sheep’ which has subsequently closed I am please to say. I have some video of hundreds of people having to negotiate her car one day when she parked it in an even worse position. It is amazing that owners of shops put their own convenience about that of their customers.

A black sheep?

As always I will press my local authority to do something about this.

Update

After a week without any response I sent a reminder email and got this reponse by return: “Thank you for your email. The position in Arras Square is very complex with several owners and leases involved and only part of the area being highway. I have passed your enquiry to my colleague [name removed] who will answer you as soon as he is able to do so”. The ‘as soon as he is able to’ bit doesn’t sound too promising reallly.

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