Rise in takeaway orders 'behind problem town centre parking'

The area at the top of Well Street looking towards the pedestrian zone, where anti-social parking has been happening.

The area at the top of Well Street looking towards the pedestrian zone, where anti-social parking has been happening. - Credit: Archant

Takeaway delivery drivers are parking anti-socially in a town centre leading to fears "somebody is going to get hurt".

Food takeaway drivers, including Deliveroo, have been parking without display tickets, on double yellows and on pavements, and driving in the pedestrian zone at the top of Well Street in Bury St Edmunds, near the McDonald's, according to residents. 

Pauline Judge, who represents the Well Street Association for residents, said the problem had reached a "tipping point" following the increase in food takeaway deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic.

The view looking down Well Street.

The view looking down Well Street. - Credit: Archant

But she also said it was not just involving delivery drivers, but general members of the public too.

She said "safety" was her main concern, adding: "I'm just so worried somebody is going to get hurt. There are a lot of elderly people [walking]."

She said while the residents' group was conducting a traffic survey in 2019 they witnessed a near miss between a vehicle and a woman with a walking frame who was left shaken.

The residents have been reporting the anti-social parking and driving to police.

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The areas where the problem is occurring also include Short Brackland, King's Road and St Andrew's Street South, near fast-food outlets.

A spokesperson for Suffolk Constabulary said officers are working with the local council, partners, residents and businesses to provide a long-term solution.

“While parking enforcement remains the responsibility of the council, dangerous or obstructive parking, can be dealt with by police," they said. "Officers remain committed to tackling the issues."

They said during an enforcement evening three vehicles were seized for having no insurance and 11 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) were issued for failing to comply with traffic signs and for wilful obstruction, among other offences.

“Anti-social parking is an issue that is regularly raised to police and we acknowledge the frustration it causes. We would urge all members of the public to park legally, considerately and responsibly,” they added.

Drivers have been parking on double yellows.

Drivers have been parking on double yellows. - Credit: Archant

West Suffolk Council said it was very much aware of the anti-social parking and its Civil Parking Enforcement officers have been issuing tickets.

Peter Stevens, cabinet member for operations at West Suffolk Council, said: “We patrol the town centre on a daily basis and issue Penalty Charge Notices to any vehicle contravening the Suffolk highway parking regulations including those parked inconsiderately and dangerously."

We tried to speak with some of the food delivery drivers at the top of Well Street, but they said they didn't speak English.

Deliveroo drivers are self-employed.

Mrs Judge said: "I am sure they are really reasonable people. They are just earning a living, but it's getting difficult for people to walk along the pavement."

She thinks the area at the top of Well Street could be a "lovely entrance to the town" with floral displays.

She suggested bollards to stop vehicles using the pedestrian zone, urged for better signage, and hopes the police and traffic wardens will keep on top of the problem.

If anyone sees inconsiderate or dangerous parking, they can report it to West Suffolk Council here.