Rail commuters leave customers at Northampton industrial estate with nowhere to park

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Northampton rail commuters are filling customer parking spaces at an industrial estate before the businesses are even open.

The issue is vexing businessmen at Grafton Street Industrial Estate, who often struggle to find parking for their clients.

Several told the Chron that most days they spot people stepping out of their cars wearing a suit and carrying a backpack and then heading for the station, where an annual parking pass costs £900.

So many commuters now park there that the industrial estate businessmen have taken to arriving extra early to ensure they themselves have a space.

However, that doesn’t help their customers, are still routinely inconvenienced.

Mark Daman, who runs the Art of Wood workshop in Grafton Street, said: “Clients have had to drive round the block two or three times looking for somewhere.

“It doesn’t exactly help when you have to meet with customers.”

Another business owner said: “I see people go down then up again then giving up. We lose custom.

“All it needs is a permit scheme to stop people parking who have nothing to do with the estate.”

In addition, Northamptonshire County Council, which oversees on-street parking in Northampton, said yesterday it was proposing to paint double yellow lines in parts of Grafton Place and Upper Priory Street.

It follows a similar piece of work carried out last year in Quorn Way, Arundel Street and Francis Street for the same reason.

The council says this would help to keep the junctions clear, as HGVs had difficulty turning round.

But businesses asked by the Chron about the measure responded negatively.

One member of staff said: “Putting yellow lines in makes it even worse. At least at the moment there is a chance of a space in those street.

“Do that and there’s no chance.”

Commenting on the commuters issue, a council spokesman said: “We are aware of issues with parking in the Grafton Street Industrial Area and are happy to talk with businesses about an appropriate solution.”