Parking in Wharf Road Chelmsford

by DannyUK

It seems that everyone in our city knows about the free parking in Wharf Road, Chelmsford on a Sunday. What they don’t seem to realise is that as of last week, there isn’t any!

I’ve moaned about parking in Wharf Road, Chelmsford too many times to mention. Whether it’s via old blog posts, Twitter or even via the Essex Chronicle in the past, it’s an oft-vented moan of mine.

The problem is that the road isn’t wide enough to take on-road parking whilst allowing the free flow of traffic.

In years gone by, this would never have been a problem, as Sunday was never busy, but in recent years it has led to ongoing traffic problems and stress for those that use the road.

The road is a cul-de-sac with the council-owned Wharf Road car park at the end, which happens to be closed on a Sunday.

It’s also the only exit for the Meadows surface car park (which has its entrance on the Argos roundabout on Springfield Road) and also the council-run Meadows Retail Park Multi Storey Wharf Road Car Park which by itself has 391 spaces. It’s no wonder the road can get busy when people start to leave.

Parking in Wharf Road Chelmsford

This was 9.20am on Sunday morning - By 10 am, both sides of the road are generally full.

It’s set to get even worse when the Wharf Road car park by Essex Record Office is redeveloped and home to hundreds more who will be using the road regularly.

My gripe isn’t with the people parking illegally, though. My gripe is with the council for not announcing the new restrictions clearly enough to those parking there.

Parking in Wharf Road Chelmsford - Parking times

Parking times, before and after. Would you spot the difference at a glance?

I would have expected at the very least a couple of signs clearly displayed detailing the new parking regulations and that parking on a Sunday is no longer viable during the day, maybe even with some instructions on where else to park nearby.

Instead, the council have merely swooped in and replaced the old signs with updated signs which look almost identical at a glance. It’s been done with the stealth of a ninja!

This will almost inevitably come to a head when someone kicks up enough of a fuss in a complaint to the council, who will then start issuing tickets to those parked illegally, which will probably infuriate a lot of people who will see it as a sneaky way to make money.

The new parking restrictions are welcomed, but they needed a better introduction and roll-out.

I can’t help but feel the council have dropped the ball on this one.

Parking in Wharf Road Chelmsford - Meadows exit

The view looking just past the Meadows car park exit.

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