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Employees lead campaign against illegal parking

Paul Markland of Orbital Marketing Services
Paul Markland of Orbital Marketing Services

Almost 100 people from the same firm have signed a petition backing plans for tougher parking restrictions on Orbital Park.

The Ashford industrial estate is plagued with nuisance parking from both lorries and cars, and the borough council now plans to introduce a series of no-waiting restrictions.

One company, Orbital Marketing Services, has had a petition signed by 95 staff favouring the new measures, including more yellow lines.

The employees are 95 out of 97 who drive to work and their input was part of a public consultation that responded five-to-one in favour of the new measures.

Orbital Marketing Services managing director Paul Markland said: “Lorries parking overnight are still there, close to our entrance in the morning, which reduces the road to a single lane.

“This makes it difficult for employees coming in and out of our premises to see, which has led to a number of accidents.

“I am not surprised so many of our staff signed. They experience the problems all the time.”

Net results of the consultation show that five letters supported Ashford Borough Council’s proposal and one objected.

The contribution by the marketing services company, whose work includes distributing holiday brochures, counts as one of the five letters.

A second letter writer was lorry campaigner Margaret Pryke. She said: “This result is a step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go. First, there has to be enforcement of these restrictions by law, otherwise it is meaningless.

“Secondly, Kent County Council needs to find somewhere for these lorries to go because there is not enough space on the official site at Waterbrook Park.”

The results will be discussed by the joint transportation board at Ashford’s Civic Centre, on Tuesday next week, when the new measures will also be voted on. The aim is to introduce a series of no-waiting restrictions with more yellow lines and bans on overnight lorry parking.

The industrial estate has a problem of lorry drivers using the area for their rest breaks overnight and at weekends. Parking problems worsen, particularly on Sunday mornings, when the Ashford Market boot fair is at its busiest.

During the working week, the area is crowded with on-street parking by employees, although companies like Orbital Marketing Services have their own off-street spaces.

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