ACTION is being planned to tackle a parking problem on a busy Thornbury road after fears were raised that high numbers of cars were increasing the risk of an accident.
Long lines of parked vehicles have resulted in a narrowing of Midland Way, causing difficulties for motorists trying to get past, especially lorry drivers going to and from the industrial estate.
Now double yellow lines are set to be painted on sections of the road in order to prevent parking in those areas and provide more passing places for traffic.
A consultation exercise has just ended but if the scheme goes ahead, it will cut the amount of space available for parking, with drivers unable to find room having to look elsewhere for a space.
Concerns about the danger posed by the level of commuter parking were highlighted last November in the Gazette, with reports received of lorry drivers mounting the grass verge and on one occasion even going onto the wrong side of the road when a truck couldn't fit between a parked car and some bollards.
Many of the cars left on Midland Way belong to staff at the expanding insurance company Europa, one of the biggest firms in the area.
It has 200 parking spaces on its site but at busy times its workforce has reached 500. Currently staffing is between 400 and 450.
The company has its own committee to look at ways of dealing with staff travel problems and said it encouraged car sharing and cycling, had lobbied for more buses and reminded employees about parking responsibly and safely.
Andy Cole, Europa’s head of operations, said the facilities manager also often checked no-one was parking illegally on Midland Way.
Mr Cole said: “We are doing as much as possible to explore ways of alleviating the parking problem.”
That included an arrangement to use some spaces at Thornbury Leisure Centre and approaching other firms to try and find unused parking space.
But Mr Cole also said Europa had already made a £20,000 contribution towards improving public transport facilities in the area, a parking review and parking orders.
The money was paid as part of the planning process when the company moved to its current site and told planners of its expansion proposals.
Thornbury councillor Maggie Tyrrell said: “We’ve had information from South Gloucestershire Council that it is going to have areas of double yellow lines on Midland Way but not all the way along it. Having lines painted in sections means there will be passing places.”
Councillor Tyrrell said Europa’s expansion was “great news for the town as far as employment is concerned” but something had to be done about the parking.
She said the town council was also seeking talks with South Gloucestershire about the Rock Street car park – within walking distance of Europa – as its spaces needed to be re-organised and could result in more room being provided there.
South Gloucestershire Council spokesman Darren Jones said: "It is proposed to introduce no waiting at any time restrictions at various points along the road.
"Consultation ended on April 9 and we have received a number of comments, which will be considered."