Town’s parking has to be tackled

There are two sides to every story and that will certainly be true in the case of this week’s front page story about parking in Matlock.

For every resident rightly fuming about council staff parking outside their home and clogging up the streets, there will be a worker wondering where they are going to leave their car tomorrow.

The long and the short of it is that there isn’t enough affordable or free long-stay parking in the town and if you haven’t got a lucrative slot at County Hall you are a bit snookered – just like the rest of the town’s workforce.

We have about 460 public car parking spaces here and although in most of them it is a fiver to park for over four hours, you can get a season ticket for a little over £260 a year. But that is still expensive if you are on a tight budget.

And of course if all these places were used by council workers, there would then be a hue and cry about the pushing out of tourists or shoppers.

The county council has a moral duty to be a good neighbour to Matlock.

It should be making more moves to ensure there is either enough long-stay parking in the town for its staff or that it offers a lot more incentives persuading them to use public transport.

Matlock is blessed with a train service from Nottingham and Derby and all the towns and villages in between. There are buses from Buxton, Bakewell, Chesterfield and Alfreton.

Anyone living in Matlock should be walking – so that just leaves those who live in a remote village or need their car to do their job queueing for a coveted space at County Hall.

The Matlock Bank residents had tried to be reasonable and gone along with the idea of debating the issue in a public meeting with officers six months ago.

But they claim their complaints fell on deaf ears. In fact they are pretty certain that anything they said was quietly swept under the carpet in the hope that the problem would go away.

It hasn’t and now, with the backing of the Mayor, Steve Flitter, they are calling for some action.

If they do end up paying for residents-only parking permits to rid their streets of congestion then someone is going to have to come up with a solution for the council workers who will be forced to rethink their journey to work each day.

Amanda Hatfield, editor