Call for action at station

PUBLISHED: 12:40 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 14:07 10 May 2010

Vandalism to bikes at Whittlesford railway station.
Whittlesford.
July 08, 2008.
Photograph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: Peter with one of the vandalised bicycles in the bike shelter.
Names (L-R):  Cllr Peter Topping.

Vandalism to bikes at Whittlesford railway station. Whittlesford. July 08, 2008. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: Peter with one of the vandalised bicycles in the bike shelter. Names (L-R): Cllr Peter Topping.

DANGEROUS parking and vandalism are making Whittlesford Station a nightmare for commuters and local residents. Cllr Peter Topping, who represents Whittlesford on South Cambridgeshire District Council, is leading calls for action after receiving a large nu

DANGEROUS parking and vandalism are making Whittlesford Station a nightmare for commuters and local residents.

Cllr Peter Topping, who represents Whittlesford on South Cambridgeshire District Council, is leading calls for action after receiving a large number of complaints from station users.

He said: "Many people are trying to use cars less, but if you cycle to Whittlesford Station you take your life in your hands getting there - because of the new parking restrictions on the approach roads - and you may find your bike smashed up while you are away, because of increasing vandalism at the largely unsupervised station, which has no CCTV."

Earlier this year, Station Road in Whittlesford, which had previously been short-stay only, was made available for commuter parking. Cllr Topping and other road users believe the long lines of parked cars that can now be found there during the day make the road dangerous for people accessing the station, including children on bikes.

He said: "The rows of cars on the road now mean people have to pull out onto the other side, and because of the crest in the road they can't see oncoming traffic."

An on-site meeting with Cambridgeshire County Council Highways on Friday failed to come to an immediate solution, but Cllr Topping said he would "maintain the pressure" in the hope that the council would reverse the recent changes.

However, Graham Lowe, Highways engineering manager, said although the council would investigate the situation, the actual parking regulations were unlikely to be changed in the near future

"We met with quite a number of residents the other day and agreed we would ask the police to provide enforcement of the parking regulations, and that we would double-check the new measures exactly match those laid out in the traffic regulation order - the legal document which backs up the measures in place," he said.

"However, the general consensus after the meeting was that the changes residents want are no longer in line with our policy. As that policy was only decided in October and took two years to reach, it's unlikely we'll see any changes to the restrictions in the short term."

Another issue Cllr Topping is hoping to rectify for station users is a recent increase in vandalism.

Cllr Topping said: "There's no CCTV at the station and more commuters are returning to find their bikes have been damaged."

Cllr Topping raised his concerns at a meeting with local police on Monday. He was told they would increase the number of patrols around the station at night to deter the vandals.

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