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Mayor of Worcester fears 'bad neighbour' image over County Hall parking
PEOPLE living in the Spetchley Road area of Worcester are still fed up by parking problems, according to the city's mayor.
Councillor Pat Agar has now called upon Worcestershire County Council to take a fresh look at the situation, saying plans to provide 200 extra spaces do not go far enough.
After months of concern about workers parking on residential streets because County Hall's spaces are often full, last month bosses revealed plans to provide 200 extra by the autumn.
There are currently 2,300 staff who work at County Hall, but fewer than 800 on-site parking spaces.
But Cllr Agar, who represents the area, said she is still worried the measures will not solve the problems.
Speaking during a full council meeting, she said: "I regularly see 80 cars parked on Spetchley Road, I see cars parking up three streets away and really do question if the council is being a bad neighbour due to the issues caused by this.
"I really do wonder whether this new parking arrangement will even begin to dent the problem.
"Will you look again at this issue, beyond the 200 spaces?"
She also told the Conservative leadership that with more changes happening to the workforce, extra staff could end up being centralised at County Hall, making the situation worse.
The number of employees based at the headquarters has already rocketed by 43 per cent since January, when it was just 1,600, due to workers relocating from other offices.
Councillor John Campion, cabinet member for transformation and change, said: "I absolutely accept Cllr Agar's position and the views of her constituents.
"We are looking to provide an additional 200 spaces on this campus, and it's worth saying that it's not just Worcestershire County Council staff who park on the streets nearby, workers from other organisations do too.
"We have tried to be a good neighbour and I believe we've gone the extra mile by looking to provide these extra spaces."
He said taxpayers wanted to see the County Hall site used as "intensely" as possible to keep costs down.
A planning application over the extra spaces focuses on enlarging two existing on-site car parks.
There are 682 spaces at County Hall on five different car parks, and another 96 reserved in a section of Worcester Woods Country Park during term time only as an alternative option for staff.
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