Update 10 July 2018

The surface has been made good with temporary repairs and the car parking area has fully reopened. Now we need a long term plan for maintenance of this site.

Ludlow’s park and ride service is operating normally despite nearly half the parking area being closed with safety barriers. This follows serious damage to the surface earlier in the week. Yesterday afternoon, Shropshire Council erected barriers around the worst affected areas of the car park. But there is enough space for people to park today and the buses are serving the site as normal.

Yesterday afternoon, we heard that temporary repairs will be made on Monday. After this we must urgently look at long term maintenance of the park and ride site, which is falling apart.

This particular episode of damage occurred on Tuesday night. It is not an isolated incident. The park and ride site has been used by young people racing in their cars for years. I don’t understand the mentality. They bounce over kerbs as well as screeching and spinning around. Surely this does damage to cars? Who needs a pothole when you can wreck your car on a kerb for fun?

Every Monday morning, no matter what the weather, there is extensive litter from young people using the site as hang out. Fly-tipping is commonplace.

The worst affected areas were sealed off yesterday afternoon (44% of the parking area is now out of use on my calculation).

We are expecting temporary repairs to take place on Monday. This involves shovelling aggregate into the damaged areas. That makes them reasonably safe. But it doesn’t do much for the image of Ludlow as a premier visitor destination.

This is a neglected part of Shropshire Council’s estate. The “temporary” plastic park and ride surface installed a decade ago has never been upgraded. Ludlow’s park and ride is an embarrassment to Shropshire Council and the image of Ludlow.

If the temporary repairs are delayed, we will be short of parking spaces next week. This is peak tourist season.

One problem we face is that up to one hundred Eco Park employee’s cars use the public parking area during the week. None of them pay for parking. That means we don’t have a revenue stream to maintain the car park. Companies on the Eco Park have not taken up offers to buy extra land to create parking spaces for their staff. They have made no contribution to Shropshire Council for maintaining the car park their employees use.

We unitary councillors have argued that the park and ride should be brought within the remit of the countywide parking policies. That means charges for everyone who parks. That’s hardly going to be popular with Eco Park employees. But it must happen to ensure there a is safe place for visitors to the town to park. Our proposal is that visitors should buy a ticket to park but would get a discount on the bus fare into town.

There is a presumption against barriers at the entrance to car parks, mainly due to the cost of on-call maintenance for when they break down. The modern approach is also moving away from paper tickets. People either type their registration into a machine or use their mobile phones to pay.

If a system like this is installed at the Eco Park, it won’t stop antisocial behaviour. For that we need real CCTV. The cameras at the Eco Park are just dummies. They have always been dummies. The young racers know that. The police seem disinterested. As does the estates department of Shropshire Council.

We councillors don’t expect a solution to these problems anytime soon. This is not Shrewsbury. But we urgently need a solution for the sake of the economy of our rural market town.

5 thought on “Nearly half of Ludlow Eco Park parking sealed off over safety fears – we need a long term plan to maintain the site”
  1. How about some gates for the park which are locked, say, after 9pm, or something similar. Isn’t that what they do in London?

  2. I was going to suggest gates that are locked at a set time, that surely has to be the least costly solution. I know someone would have to lock/unlock them, but as the parking enforcement officers will be around town until 8pm when the new parking fees come in, then they could do it.

  3. Why charge people to use the bus, even at a discount, when most park and ride systems include the bus ride in the cost of the ticket?
    I agree that gates locked after a set time would be helpful.

  4. Please can I just state that all this information is wrong,
    Police have dealt with the young “boy racers”, They have all been issued warnings about noise etc and if they’re caught again serious measures will be taken.
    Most of the cars who go “racing” aren’t local either, may I add. They travel down from Leominster and Hereford and all over the place.
    Yes you do get the occasional local “boy racer” up the eco park however, police now make it a daily night routine to go up and check if they’re up there, the cars all get thoroughly checked to see if they’re all legal etc, and if they’re not making a nuisance they’re aloud to stay.
    As for the ripped up car park, this was done by lorries trying to turn around, as witnessed by multiple people. Please get your facts right.

    These “boy racers” are enthusiasts, they do not actually race their cars, they build up their cars to top spec and put a lot of money and time into their car, they do not race them around just to break them for fun.

    Maybe if Ludlow stopped building retirement homes and started building something for the children in the local area, we wouldn’t have this problem!

    No matter what town or city you are in, you will get these local “Boy racers”.
    Please do not jump to conclusions, these “Boy racers” are actually lovely people and if you took the time to go to them, and talk they would happily show you, what they do and spend the majority of their time and a lot of their money on. You’d then have something worth writing about.

    On multiple occasions they have bump started and helped local people out, when they’ve had problems with their cars up the eco park, but this does not get recognised.

    And you seem to forget, if you move them from the Eco Park they will only move into the town car parks, would you rather them in town? or on the outskirts? as a town resident I know what i’d prefer.

    1. The information I give is not wrong. The parking surface has been weakened by firms such as Severn Trent and Courier Stationers using it against weight guidelines. But this was damage by young racers.

      If you had inspected the damage you would realise that this was caused by cars skidding around. An HGV could not do it. Did you view similar actions by young racers over the winter?

      A lot of people live beyond Ludlow’s town centre. Have you heard the complaints of people who live near the Eco Park? Or those near Smithfield? Please go to the Eco Park late at night to observe this or early in the morning to inspect the damage.

      The police did run a major and welcome campaign of action to calm the young racers down. They have abandoned that.

      I have nothing about the young people in these cars. But antisocial behaviour is seen as normal in Ludlow. There is no reason why that should be so except for a lack of interest by Shropshire Council and the police.

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