RESIDENTS could face paying £60 each to solve the problem of football fans clogging up the streets where they live on match days.
But a solution may be in the pipeline if local councillors’ idea for a match-day-only, residents-only parking scheme goes ahead.
Last week householders from the streets around the Racecourse stadium met with representatives from the police, Wrexham Council, stadium owners Glyndwr University and football and rugby club bosses to discuss the problem of match-day parking.
Windsor Drive resident Chris Jones, 59, said he had returned home one day with his caravan and could not get down the road because of fans’ cars on both sides of the road.
He said a fire engine or ambulance would not have been able to either.
“Next time I will take dimensions and take this up with the Health and Safety Inspectorate,” he said, “There’s a tragedy waiting to happen.”
Peter Jones, football liaison officer for North Wales Police, said the force no longer had the legal power to stop motorists using roads, except in emergencies and could only move cars if there was an obstruction.
What was deemed an obstruction had to be judged on a case-by-case basis by the officer on the scene, he said.
Duncan Green, of Wrexham Council’s highways department, added the council only had responsibility for traffic offences such as parking on double yellow lines.
He said a residents-only parking scheme on selected roads was possible but would have to be funded by the residents themselves.
Currently, if more than half the residents on any street demand such a scheme then, for £60 a year per car, they can get stickers and signs so that only they can park there.
In response to calls that Glyndwr should pay for such a scheme, stadium manager Anna-Marie Brown said the university did not have the money to fund it.
She said there would continue to be a paid-for car park at the ground, run with Wrexham Supporters Association.
Parking was currently £3, though may raise to £4 for the next season.
Residents responded angrily, suggesting the price should be dropped, not raised.
But Brynyffynnon councillor Phil Wynne said he had spoken to Stansty councillor David Bithell and Grosvenor councillor Steve Wilson about getting together a list of streets affected near the stadium and proposing a residents-only parking scheme covering all of them on match-days only.
The restrictions would only be in force for about 40 days a year, he said, and cost much less.
He suggested if cheap enough, Glyndwr might be willing to meet the cost, perhaps diverting funds from the paid-for car park.
“There’s a lot to be investigated but if the price tag can be brought down to a reasonable cost then that’s what we should be pushing for,” he said.
Ms Brown said she would take residents’ comments back to Glyndwr bosses.
“We’re trying to make changes but it’s a huge ship we’re turning and it will take some time,” she said.
Wrexham Supporters Trust chief executive David Roberts said at the meeting that match stewards would now be parking in the grounds of Glyndwr University, rather than on side streets.
He said they were in talks with the council to free up the use of University car parks for match-goers, which at the moment needed a change of planning permission.
He also said the club would have a campaign of announcements to supporters to park in designated spaces.
See full story in the Chester Leader