Councillors want quick answers to parking problems near new University of Northampton campus

There has been 'increased tensions' between residents and the University of Northampton after complaints about parking near the Waterside campus
There has been 'increased tensions' between residents and the University of Northampton after complaints about parking near the Waterside campus

Councillors will write to ‘major stakeholders’ to try to urgently improve parking problems for residents living near the University of Northampton’s new Waterside Campus.

Fed-up neighbours have submitted petitions to Northampton Borough Council calling on them to help improve the situation.

It includes a petition with more than 50 signatures from residents of Thomas Chapman Grove calling for parking permits to be implemented in the area. Meanwhile, 27 residents from Malthouse Close have submitted their own petition calling for double yellow lines to be painted to prevent university students and staff parking in front of their drives.

The university meanwhile has pledged to pay for a parking consultation for the affected areas, but the consultation could take months, and residents want action now.

At a scrutiny panel made up of Northampton Borough councillors, resident Heather Bryant said she was ‘seriously thinking of moving away’ due to parking problems and anti-social behaviour, but 'didn’t see why we should have to'.

Speaking to the committee, which met at The Guildhall on Thursday evening (November 22), Sergeant Lorna Clarke, of the university policing team, said: “There’s a lot of tension with relation to parking. The parking issue does need a solution and it will take a while.”

She had said in a written report that the move of the University of Northampton had bought ‘a huge change’ to the residents of Far Cotton.

Becky Bradshaw, head of safety and security at the university, said the institution had decided not to allow student parking on campus in order to promote public transport and improve air quality.

She added: “We have offered to pay for the parking consultation, and we are waiting for a quote from Highways to see how much that will be.”

The university’s head of public relations, Owen Morris, added: “It’s worth remembering where we’ve come from. Students who would have started at Park Campus are used to bringing their cars, but students who have started at Waterside - for them it’s going to become embedded not to bring their cars.”

The scrutiny panel is not due to deliver the findings of its investigation until the New Year, but chairman Councillor Samuel Kilby-Shaw said: “We will recommend that Councillor Jamie Lane, who heads the overall scrutiny committee, writes to the major stakeholders to expedite the parking issue.”