Update provided by Peter Bedford County Councillor for Markfield, Desford & Thornton Division

“Since the public meeting on 5th February Severn Trent are working through the following:

The issues:

– The problem days are weekends, bank holidays and school holidays primarily, although the number of problem days is perceived to be increasing.

– Visitors are parking across residents dropped kerbs and blocking access, parking along the dam forcing vehicles to drive on the pavement, parking on the pavement in the village preventing use of the pavement.

– The issues are replicated at school run times so it is not isolated to St visitors and so a holistic plan to vehicle movements and parking in Thornton is needed.

Ideas/options in our control:

– Immediate: Signage on our land for those entering site to ask them to be considerate in their parking. Something like: ‘Park with care; please respect our community. If you have parked across a dropped kerb or on the pavement please turn back and move your car to a more suitable place, thank you.’

– Medium term: We can support the Parish Council in agreeing a poster, messaging signage campaign in the village around a ‘park with care’ approach.

– Medium term: We can support the Parish Council in applying for a TMO as a trial for a super busy day that would then result in official cones being placed out by the council to prevent parking in the village. Worth a trial to see where this pushes the problem to as this could inform the thinking on yellow lining which is a longer term option.

– Medium term: Parking at other end of Dam in the pull in could be expanded to create a couple more spaces.

– Longer term: Create parking from the flat area below the dam. There was agreement from the community this would be a good thing and it was suggested by the community that car parking charges should be introduced to provide a revenue stream for this. Because the parking issue has been exacerbated by Charnwood BC introducing charges at Bradgate this would help balance out demand. Others voiced concern that charges would push people to park in the village which is why this would need to be done in conjunction with better control with the village regardless. This options is not easy as it will require overcoming the tight turning circle on access/egress on to and off the dam side.

– Longer term: We need to carry out an appraisal of where else we could look to bring people to site (Outback lane?) and create parking elsewhere that would mean any overflow isn’t impacting the village directly.

– Longer-term: It was suggested by the community that we create a footpath the other side of the wall on the Dam (on our land) to enable the dam to be used for parking and a separate path for pedestrians.

Other actions:

– The police are going to do some sporadic enforcement on the junction where there ’dangerous obstructive’ parking takes place. Their powers are limited to the junction, beyond this it is highways, but without yellow lines there is nothing for them to enforce.

– We need to keep up discussion with highways and explore getting yellow lines and what would need to be true to have this in critical areas.

– Parish Council need to look at the parking at the pub (now closed?) to explore if this could be used for peak days to take the pressure off”.

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