Defence workers are invading our streets for parking
RESIDENTIAL streets are being turned into car parks for employees at the Ministry of Defence's Abbey Wood complex, according to an angry resident.
Ken Hoare says his cul-de-sac in Stoke Gifford is being besieged by office workers who leave their vehicles near his home on a daily basis during the working week.
The 48-year-old says the clogged-up road has now become inaccessible for emergency services vehicles.
There has been a sudden increase in the number of vehicles parking in The Sidings since parking restrictions were recently introduced at Abbey Wood retail park, which was formerly used by MoD employees as a free car park.
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Employees have also recently been stopped from parking in a nearby B&Q car park, which had been used by staff under an informal arrangement.
Mr Hoare, 48, who is married to Phillipa, said: "Things have got worse in the past six weeks. There have been issues regarding emergency services vehicles getting through.
"Staff are parking in our street and Pilkington Close – wherever they can get a space – from between 8am and 10am. They get out of their cars and they are definitely army and navy personnel because they are wearing uniforms.
"If the cars are blocking an entrance or an access to the road we can ask for the vehicles to be removed but it's not come to that yet.
"It's a narrow road anyway and some of my neighbours have got quite a job of getting their cars out of their drives.
"Two or three residents in the street have phoned the MoD to complain but they have said it's not their issue."
Filton town councillor Darryl Collins has been contacted by a police community support officer who had received complaints about MoD employees leaving their cars in residential streets.
He will meet MoD officials to discuss the problem.
Mr Collins said Abbey Wood workers who worked within three miles of the site were already barred from parking in the staff car park.
But he said the parking problems might get worse unless further action was taken, because hundreds more employees were due to be based at the defence equipment and support site in the future.
Mr Collins said: "The MoD has threatened to bring in a policy whereby cars occupied by two or more people are given priority in the staff car park but I don't think that has happened yet.
"It's like other places such as Southmead Hospital – there are nowhere near enough places to park. Roads like New Road and Station Road (near Abbey Wood) are struggling big time.
"Bin men had to miss several streets on their round because they can't get their lorries through a couple of weeks back."
Mr Collins said residents should be asked how they want the situation resolved but added that residents' parking zones and yellow lines with limited restrictions could be options to consider.
Hannah Swingler, spokeswoman for MoD Abbey Wood, said: "Some complaints have been made about Ministry of Defence staff parking in the residential areas around the Abbey Wood site.
"As a result a meeting has been agreed between Filton town councillor Darryl Collins and the MoD to discuss the issue.
"In the meantime the MoD will continue to do everything it can to encourage staff to find alternative ways to travel to work and to minimise any impact on local residents."