Wed, 07 Sept 2016
UTILITY firm SSE is to maintain a closer link with Thatcham Town Council to try and resolve residents’ concerns about irresponsible parking.
Representatives met town councillors last week to discuss problems with parking in residential streets.
Residents’ have frequently raised concerns and complained about company vehicles using the Piper Way facility parking irresponsibly in residential roads, notably Falmouth Way, Boscawen Way and Agricola Way. One father said that a bus had narrowly avoided crashing into his car with his young daughter inside, as parked cars had reduced visibility on Falmouth Way.
Rob Denton-Powell (Con, Thatcham South and Crook-ham) asked company representatives for their view of the situation and what could be done to resolve the issues.
“We are very keen to keep you in Thatcham,” he said.
“It’s not that we are being picky or fussy – it’s wonderful that you are such a good employer in the town.
“We are just asking you to reduce some of the friction.”
SSE’s head of operational property David Tate said that the company was a responsible employer and wanted to work with council and residents to address the issue. He said that the company tried to reduce the number of vehicles coming to Thatcham by encouraging employees to car share and offering interest-free incentives on public transport.
“I believe that we are doing a significant amount to try and mitigate our impact on the local community, he said.
“We do appreciate that the issue has been brought to the council and through media channels as well. We are working with staff to be a considerate neighbour within the That-cham area.”
While saying that SSE could not control where people park-ed, Mr Tate said that the company was patrolling local streets to try and identify vehicles and their drivers in an attempt to move them on.
SSE also has an arrangement with Thatcham Football Club to use the ground for overflow parking.
Echoing residents’ calls, Steve Ardagh-Walter (Con, Thatcham West) asked if a shuttle bus service would be provided between the ground and the facility.
Councillors heard that a service would not operate on a daily basis and would only be used if there was a high demand during training sessions and conferences.
When councillors were asked for their suggestions, Mr Denton-Powell said that the patrols needed to extend into Agricola Way and that SSE needed to advise staff about the sensitivity of the issue among residents.
Facilities manager Maria Butler said that a presentation about parking was displayed in reception, along with leaflets advising staff about the issue.
Mrs Butler said that SSE would be happy to invite Mr Denton-Powell to company meetings about parking.