Village will get more car park spaces

Ann Westmorland, Fitzwilliam councillor on Hemsworth Town Council and residents at the railway station. Trying to get extra parking spaces there which will hopefully ease parking problems.
Ann Westmorland, Fitzwilliam councillor on Hemsworth Town Council and residents at the railway station. Trying to get extra parking spaces there which will hopefully ease parking problems.

Villagers could see an end to years of congestion and traffic chaos after Wakefield Council approved a scheme to create more parking spaces in Fitzwilliam.

The railway station and Fitzwilliam Country Park car park is no longer big enough to accommodate the increasing number of visitors and commuters.

And people have instead been forced to park on residential streets, causing rifts between neighbours living in the area.

Ann Westmorland, Fitzwilliam councillor at Hemsworth Town Council, said home owners, walkers and commuters have often found themselves being blocked in and emergency services have struggled to pass cars parked at the side of the road.

She said: “It will make a real big difference to a lot of people to have more allocated spaces and hopefully that will alleviate the problem of people parking outside other people’s homes. It would be even better if the scheme could include some long term and some short term parking spaces to help prevent people being blocked in.”

She added that frustrated residents would be “over the moon” after enduring the problems for “long enough”.

“It has been a long time coming,” she said. “People were getting frightened about being blocked in and about who was parking outside their homes, was it a commuter or just someone hanging about?

“A lot of elderly people on mobility scooters, and disabled people, have struggled to get past cars parked at the side of the road so it’s going to make things a lot safer for them and for pedestrians too.”

The council will look to secure funding for the scheme from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and hopes to submit a planning application for the project in April.

If plans are approved, work could start on the project in August, with the new spaces expected to be completed by November.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic growth, said: “These proposals will help create more parking spaces, cut congestion in the local area caused by cars parking on the busy neighbouring roads and improve safety.”

She added that the scheme would “complement and complete” the regeneration of the former City Estate.