Sunderland resident hits out at ‘car invasion’ by employees at Doxford International Business Park

New parking rules could be introduced after residents on a Sunderland estate complained about an ‘invasion’ of cars from workers at a nearby business park.

Employees at Doxford International Business Park parking their vehicles in Moorside is a long-standing issue.

Moorside resident Ray Bradshaw speaks out about the ongoing issue of Doxford Park employees parking on the estate

Moorside resident Ray Bradshaw speaks out about the ongoing issue of Doxford Park employees parking on the estate

A new permit scheme could be brought in by Sunderland City Council to address the problem.

Ray Bradshaw, who lives on the estate, said: “Residents of Moorside know employees of Doxford international have to park somewhere.

“However, something somewhere within the planning agreements have gone wrong.

“There are simply insufficient parking facilities and probably just as important the road network cannot cope with the number of employees at Doxford international.

Cars parked in the Moorside estate

Cars parked in the Moorside estate

“Some businesses provided park and ride schemes but these are not popular.”

Mr Bardshaw claims many employees prefer to park within the Moorside estate in order to skip long queues when leaving the business park.

Parking is allowed on Moorside Road, which circles Moorside although some restrictions were enforced a few years ago.

The 63-year-old, who worked for the NHS before retiring, added: “This in itself causes safety issues as it is a bus route as well as the main access into the Moorside Estate.

“There have been many incidents on this road but, as yet, the people responsible for highways seem to be of the opinion that the road is fit for purpose.

“That is because there has not been many reports of actual physical injury brought to their attention. Usually, only such incidents are reported to the police.

“Most incidents are resolved through respective vehicles insurances. It is only a matter of time before a serious injury occurs.”

He says in recent years vehicles have spilled over into the residential estate - parking at both junctions with Moorside Road and deep inside the estate - and that there are many instances of pedestrians using pavements being impacted by inconsiderate parking.

“Mothers and children in buggies having to leave the pavement and go onto the road to pass,” said Mr Bradshaw. “The same would apply to wheel chair users. There is also a guide dog user lives locally. Driveways and garages can also become obstructed .

“There have been reports by residents of receiving abuse from some employees when challenged on their inconsiderate parking.”

He has now made a video showing the extent of the problem and says in his street alone he has counted up to 35 cars from employees parked up on the pavement during the day.

Coun Colin English, who works at Doxford International Business Park, has been working with the council and businesses to deal with the issue.

He said: “Some of the parking has been completely irresponsible and we’re trying to get the police to enforce where neccessary.

“Moorside has a diverse range of residents with families as well as more senior individuals.

“When a car blocks a pavement it raises a health and safety issue.”

Businesses at the park have taken action to address the number of cars parking in the area such as organising car sharing schemes.

Proposals for a car parking management scheme will also go before the council this month with a consultation expected to take place in early 2019.

This will mean residential parking will be enforced and residents will need a permit to park in the area.

Coun Amy Wilson, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “It has been a long-running issue that the success of Doxford Park has seen parking over-spill into nearby residential streets.

“The council is very aware of this and is looking as to whether a residents’ parking scheme could be introduced.

“There are six other residents’ parking schemes in our city and they have proved to be popular with many people once they have seen and noticed the benefits.

“Residents who join schemes benefit from greater convenience and opportunities for parking near their property, and first permits are issued free of charge.

“There are several stages and legal processes required to introduce the schemes.

“A first step for any possible scheme in the area would be canvassing residents by letter and seeing if there is enough support for the idea.

“The council is looking at contacting residents early in 2019.

“As well as the possibility of a scheme for residents, the council is looking at extra parking options to help workers and businesses. Further details will be announced in due course.

“Complementing these are sustainable travel options actively promoted by companies on the park, allowing staff and visitors to access Doxford without a car wherever possible.”