MORE time is needed to assess apparent parking problems caused by Sainsbury’s before any action can be taken.
That was West Berkshire Council’s response to residents of Coombe Court and Chapel Street who have reported parking problems since the opening day of the store last month.
Coombe Court resident Amanda Martin said that she and her husband Steve had been stopped from entering the garage block behind the store as a Sainsbury’s customer had parked on the double yellow lines across the entrance.
She added that the irresponsible parking “made it impossible and dangerous to navigate” the road, fearing that children walking to Kennet School would be hit.
She said: “West Berkshire Council are aware but the problem continues. Sainsbury’s car park is often empty as people continue to use residents parking and double yellow lines. It’s a supermarket that has been dumped in a residential area and is encroaching on residents’ lives.”
Sainsbury’s has installed signs on the A4 directing customers to the car park to the rear of the store, while a Sainsbury’s sign has also replaced the former Coombe Square signs at the entrance to the car park located off Coombe Court.
But Mrs Martin, who is a Neighbourhood Watch coordinator, said that the signage should have been in place before the store opened in an effort to alleviate any issues surrounding parking.
A spokeswoman for West Berkshire Council, Peta Stoddart-Crompton, said: “The council needs to assess the impact this new store has on parking and a period of time is needed to allow customer parking patterns to settle in before any issues can be determined.
“There is a higher level of off-street parking available at the store than current planning standards require and once shoppers become more aware of this facility at the back of store the reported parking problems may diminish.
“The council has monitored the site since the store opened and, to date, there have been no parking issues.”
Ms Stoddart-Crompton said that the council had received complaints from residents in Chapel Street and Coombe Court about parking, however, that may have been caused by Sainsbury’s customers.
She added that some complaints related to shoppers ignoring the existing yellow lines, while others had complained that shoppers were parking in front of residents’ driveways.
Last week the council repainted white lines in front of driveways in Coombe Court, which it said should help address the issue.
Ms Stoddart-Crompton added that there were no immediate plans to repaint yellow lines on Chapel Street or Coombe Court.