Promises over parking provision at Wrexham prison have been broken, claim councillor


Promises over parking provision at HMP Berwyn have been broken, it was claimed.

That was the view of Abenbury community councillor, Cllr Ray Squire, who lives directly opposite the site of the new £212 million prison, which is due to take its first prisoners at the end of the month.

A decision on full planning permission for the prison on the site of the former Firestone factory at Wrexham Industrial Estate was deferred in October 2014, with lack of parking among the concerns raised.

The application was eventually approved and included a greater number of parking spaces, with community leaders being assured there would be no impact on residents.

But Cllr Squire says that is not the case and fears it is only going to get worse when the prison opens at the end of the month.

He said: “People are parking wherever they want. I have had countless meetings with people from the prison but the problem is only going to get worse when the prisoners start coming in.

“Where are the visitors going to park? When planning permission was granted, it was deferred the first time because of a few reasons, including not enough parking spaces. The developers put in an extra 50 spaces and they assured the council and the community council that there would be enough. The point is that they said there would be adequate parking for everyone but there isn’t.

“We have got to accept the prison but we should not have to accept this. People go to work at 6am and when they come back, their space has been taken.

“I have had signs made to stop the problem. This should never have happened because they said there was adequate parking. When the prisoners come in and they get visitors, they are going to come into Pentre Maelor.”

Last week, the Leader reported police were warning drivers they face being fined if they continue to block access to other vehicles on an industrial estate.

In recent weeks officers have received numerous complaints of vehicles parking on junctions and causing obstruction when HGVs are in the area surrounding HMP Berwyn on the Wrexham Industrial Estate. Concerns have been raised regarding drivers struggling to get out of junctions due to a restricted view of the roads to manoeuvre.

The local Safer Neighbourhood Team will be patrolling the area at key times and leaving leaflets on problem vehicles, warning them of the consequences of blocking the roads when parking.

Sgt Katie Davies from the local policing team said: “There have been ongoing issues on the estate for a considerable time and we have been contacted by many concerned members of the public.

“The problem has also been raised at a recent council meeting.

“Drivers also need to consider whether an ambulance or fire engine could get past their vehicle, which could be a matter of life or death.”

She added: “The leaflets are a reminder to motorists that they have a duty to park in a considerate manner and we will take action against those who ignore our warnings.”