Gridlocked! Chaos in Penkridge as drivers dodge Stafford parking charges
A village has become gridlocked with cars as commuters dodge inflated parking charges at a nearby town, it has been claimed.
Angry Penkridge residents have said their village centre is being taken over by drivers from Stafford who are driving to the village to park for free, before catching the train from its unmanned station.
Commuters are targeting residential streets, businesses and even the Methodist Church car park to avoid the £12 a day charge at Stafford. One business has even resorted to bringing in fines to stop train travellers from using their car park.
A resident, who catches the train every morning from Penkridge to Birmingham but did not want to be named, said: "Since Stafford station has increased prices to park more people are travelling to Penkridge to park as it's free.
"Penkridge does not have enough parking for all the people now using the station.
"I have no issue with people driving to Penkridge station they just need to provide more parking and more facilities at Penkridge because it is not sufficient for the number of people now using the station in the morning.
"The amount of people getting on the trains now is ridiculous, there are not enough carriages or seats for people."
Councillor Isabel Ford added the parking problems were putting people off shopping in the village.
She said: "We have people coming from as far as Loggerheads in Market Drayton and other places to park because it does not cost anything. Stafford is something like £12 a day now.
"It depletes the parking in the village and that impacts on shopping because if you cannot park you are going to somewhere else.
"It is not so much the traffic it creates it is the fact the car parks are overloaded and not by Penkridge people."
Councillor Ford, who has represented Penkridge on South Staffordshire Council since 2003, has raised the issue with the County Council before and tried to have a system put in place where Penkridge drivers were given stickers to identify them and drivers from outside the village would have to pay. However this idea was rejected.
Andrea Gubbins, the manager of the Hatherton Hotel opposite the train station, said the parking situation was 'difficult' but confirmed the hotel would shortly be moving over to Parking Eye to help with its enforcement.
Parking Eye issues penalty charge notices for drivers parked without permission.
A car journey from Stafford town centre to Penkridge train station is seven miles and takes around 20 minutes.