Cabinet to look at ‘inconsiderate’ match day parking in St James

Councillor Rufia Ashraf is calling for match-day parking permits to be given to borough council tenants in St James.
Councillor Rufia Ashraf is calling for match-day parking permits to be given to borough council tenants in St James.

Measures to clamp down on “inconsiderate parking” on match days in Northampton could be put in place if a set of proposals are approved by the borough council.

Back in October the council resolved to take a “radical new approach” to parking issues around St James whenever Cobblers or Saints played at home.

At the time Councillor Rufia Asraf (Lab, St James) said residents there were getting fed up of not being able to park near their own homes and called for both clubs to provide some form, of match day “enforcement” to limit vehicles clogging up residential areas.

Now, following a full review, led by Councillor Ashraf, a set of recommendations are set to be put to the council’s cabinet to consider.

They include providing stewards to police traffic in the St James area and issuing match day parking permits to housing tenants to enable them to secure a space outside their properties whenever Cobblers or Saints play at home.

Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Mary Markham, said: “The success of the Saints and Cobblers along with the prestige they bring to our town is fantastic.

“However, with that success comes popularity which is creating parking problems in nearby streets and neighbourhoods. At cabinet we will have the chance to discuss the situation and the next steps we can take. We will need to look at what we can do to bring everyone together to find the answers to the parking problems local people experience whenever there is a game at Franklin’s Gardens or Sixfields.”

Among the recommendations in the report set to go to cabinet, the scrutiny committee says discussions should be opened with Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) to give residents of the flats in St James, free matchday parking permits.

It recommends the Saints are approached to provide a steward to man the pedestrian crossing on Weedon Road after a match.

It asks the rugby team to supply a “caretaker” at the flats in St James on match days, should a residents parking scheme be introduced.

The Saints, the report says, should also advertise its free-to-use Claret Car Park on Edgar Mobbs Way more, after a site visit by the scrutiny panel in February found it to be only a “third full” on a matchday, despite the fact on street parking was “very busy”.

Finally the report states that car parks on Chalk lane could be opened up for match day traffic.

A spokesperson from Saints said: “The club actively encourages supporters who choose to drive to games to use official club car parks on Edgar Mobbs Way, including paying for post-match traffic management schemes.”