Appeal from the pulpit to end Sunday parking chaos

Parking congestion outside Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Peterborough. Photo: Peterborough Telegraph
Parking congestion outside Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Peterborough. Photo: Peterborough Telegraph
Have your say

Hundreds of worshippers who attend the Sunday services at a Peterborough church are leaving residents feeling besieged by inconsiderate parking.

In total around 1,000 churchgoers now attend the morning and evening Polish services at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, in Cedar Grove, on Sundays.

But love for one’s neighbour appears in question, with churchgoers’ cars left lining the street, parked on both sides of the road, on the pavement and across driveways.

It has led to numerous meetings between church officials, the police, Peterborough City Council and ward councillors in an attempt to resolve the issue, with the representatives meeting regularly.

Councillor Bella Saltmarsh, member for Dogsthorpe, is among those to have been involved in the discussions.

She said: “We have had several goes to try to sort this out.”

A previous attempted solution was to encourage churchgoers to use the car park of the Spar store, in Welland Road, but the problem has persisted, she said.

She said: “Residents are getting a bit fed up of the problems of the parking on the weekends. Some of them are quite angry.”

Fellow Dogsthorpe councillor Chris Ash said: “It’s nice to see the church in use, just not at the detriment of local people living there.”

He added: “I think the best answer is for people to think about where they park, to park safely and sensibly.”

Father Kraszkowski Cezary from the church said he regularly encourages the congregation to consider the community in its parking.

He said: “Almost every week I try to announce in church about the car parking, because there is a problem.”

Peterborough City Council has ruled out a parking ban outside the church, but is considering a number of possible strategies to resolve the issue.

A spokeswoman said: “We are not looking to ban parking in this area as it would not be a long-term solution, however several other options are being discussed. Double yellow lines are due to be extended on the corners of Cedar Grove and Figtree Walk to reduce congestion at the junction.

“Several other parking options are being investigated such as utilising car parks in close vicinity to the church. However, any decisions are yet to be finalised.”

The authority stressed cars parked illegally would be dealt with by its enforcement officers or the police.

A police spokesman said it had increased patrols over the past 10 months, which had helped the situation, and officers have been putting flyers on cars to highlight the issue and suggest other places to park.