|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 20th June, 1952, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Legs Could Solve This Poser
Room to spare in outer car parks
Does Rushden suffer from a shortage of parking places for vehicles? Coun. E. A. Sugars thinks so, and has thrown out an invitation to other councillors to put forward suggestions for new ones.
Certainly, now the council has concurred with a County Council draft order prohibiting waiting in Church Street and the lower part of Newton Road, the situation around High Street will be aggravated. And later in the year the council has also to release the popular parking enclosure at the bottom end of West Street.
But in the opinion of an “Echo and Argus” reporter, who made a tour of the town during the peak midday period, there is ample accommodation for parking in the town the congestion arises from drivers’ lack of co-operation in refusing to use those parks not so centrally situated.
In College Street and Rectory Road, for example, there is always congestion. Cars are parked nose-to-tail within the stipulated area and, dangerously so, on the other side of these streets too, where parking is not authorised. Explanation? it’s only a stone’s throw from High Street. Now in Washbrook Road and Station Road, where there is generous allocation for parking, there was not one vehicle during the period of investigation.
The only list of parks could be found affixed to the Alfred Street School. A notice proclaimed that under the Public Health Act, 1925, vehicles could be parked : On the north side of High Street South, north side of Washbrook Road, west side of North Street, north side of Station Road, south side of College Street, north side of Portland Road, east side of Rectory Road and west side of Robinson Road all less than a five minute walk to the centre of the town.
Cars however, were cluttered around the top and bottom of Church Street and the foot of Newton Road; Alfred Street was full (only two vehicles in the Ritz car park however), and there were cars in the non-approved portion of College Street all along by the Ritz and Post Office.
There was only one car in the Washbrook Road car park; none at all at the station car park, and none in Station Road. In Victoria Road, nearer the centre of the town, cars were again nose-to-tail. The West Street enclosure and the Co-operative Society’s yard were comfortably full, and Rectory Road was congested. There were only four vehicles in the two High Street South parking areas again, requiring a few minutes’ walk to the shops.
One explanation could be lack of notice to motorists. For the situation is better than say, in Northampton, where visitors frequently have a considerable walk to the shopping centre. If hoardings outlined the town’s parking amenities prominently at entrances to Rushden it would certainly ease the situation as far as visitors are concerned.
And to the “locals,” why not take up Coun. Sugars’ challenge and see if you can find any other suitable situations for car parks? Alternatively, try walking a little farther.