St Albans street becomes parking ticket blackspot after traffic order ends decade-long dispute
PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 December 2017
A St Albans street has become a parking ticket blackspot after new powers were enacted to curtail school pick-up parking.
Romeland Hill has provoked conflict between residents and St Albans School since 2009 due to a blockade of buses and cars at the end of the school day.
Abbey Precincts Residents Association secretary Robert Pankhurst said: “It caused an enormous amount of mayhem.
“There is a conflict of interest between the school, who want to run a very large bus service, and residents who want to preserve the area.”
Buses are exclusively allowed to park in spaces on the road between 3.30pm and 6.30pm.
But previously when private cars park there during the day, the buses could not get through.
Wardens could not issue penalty notices, so buses had to stop in the middle of the road.
However since October, a new traffic order means wardens can fine drivers who park there between 3.30pm and 6.30pm.
Mr Pankhurst said: “It’s still pretty bad but the wardens can now enforce parking notices on cars that park there when they should not.”
The association have pushed St Albans council to be a bit more proactive in enforcement.
According to comparethemarket.com, 4,963 parking fines were issued in St Albans district between July and September - the most on Romeland Hill.
St Albans council’s head of community services Debbi White said: “Parking is an issue in busy cities like St Albans because of the high and growing number of cars on the road.
“Parking restrictions are required to make life easier for residents and are usually initiated by them. They are only brought into force after extensive consultations with them as well as businesses and other interested organisations.
“Once they are in place, we have a duty to enforce them and will issue Penalty Charge Notices to vehicles that are illegally parked. If you want to avoid a ticket, you need to park legally.
“There was a review of parking at Romeland Hill in 2014 and a new set of restrictions were agreed and have since been enforced. These are clearly signposted.
“It is a busy area, close to the city centre, a school, the cathedral and Verulamium Park, so it is no surprise a higher than average number of tickets has been issued there.
“However, anyone visiting the area has plenty of nearby parking options including Christopher Place which has 180 spaces and Russell Avenue which has 537.”
St Albans School was approached for comment but did not respond.