Disabled parking bays are suspended for tour buses at Alban Arena

Disabled parking spaces outside the Alban Arena

Disabled parking spaces outside the Alban Arena - Credit: Archant

Suspending disabled parking spaces in the city centre to allow tour buses to park close to the Alban Arena has criticised by an angry motorist.

Linda Storey, who lives in London Colney, parked her car in one of three disabled bays in the turning circle in front of St Albans council offices last Wednesday morning.

When she returned shortly afterwards, a touring bus for the Alban Arena was waiting to park across the three spaces and needed her to back out of the space so the driver could get the vehicle in.

She said: “There is nowhere else to park around there and I was disgusted that they should have suspended the parking bays. I was in parked in the last space and had to squeeze past the tour bus.”

Chris Baker, deputy general manager of the Alban Arena, said the Irish singer Nathan Carter had been performing a sell-out concert that evening and as well as an articulated lorry carrying all the equipment, the musician had a tour bus on which his band travelled.

He said the theatre had an agreement that they could request the suspension of those parking bays because there was nowhere else for the vehicles to park close to the Arena - but there were often occasions when people removed the cones and parked in the bays anyway.

The theatre’s technical staff had requested the suspension in February, he added.

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St Albans council’s head of legal, democratic and regulatory services, Michael Lovelady, said: “We are sorry to learn of the difficulties that the driver experienced.

“We deal with over 4,000 bay suspensions a year with little or no problems. It appears that in this case there was a regrettable miscommunication.

As soon as we were aware of the problem, we sent a civil enforcement officer to the scene to deal with it.”

He added: “We will be talking to the Alban Arena and working closely with them to ensure this does not happen again.”