‘Parking nightmare!’ Driver uses wheelie bins to reserve spaces in car park chaos

Birmingham: Man chains bin to road to reserve parking space

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Helen Barrell says parking is a “nightmare” on her road in Smethwick near Birmingham, and has had to take action to guarantee a space. She says the road gets blocked up by parents and staff members at a nearby primary school which she claims doesn’t have any parking facilities. 

Ms Barrell, an author and librarian, also claims cars ‘speed’ down the road, despite it being a crowded road where vehicles park on either side, and fears there will be a “fatality”.

She has called on Sandwell Council to implement a 20-miles-per-hour speed limit on her road and enforce a one-way system.

Other drivers in Birmingham have resorted to reserving parking spaces too, with motorists in Lozells using bread trays, paint pots and cones.

Ms Barrell said she has only done it a few times, which was when contractors carried out work on her house.

She added: “I had a window replaced, and I couldn’t leave the contractors to carry it all the way up the road otherwise it risked being broken.

“And they needed access to their tools while working.

“It’s just something that we all have to do occasionally.”

Her neighbours have been “good about it” and she believes they would “no doubt reserve spaces for contractors using their bins” if they needed to.

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Ms Barrell explained that her road was near a primary school which doesn’t have parking for staff.

As a result, parents and staff all park in her road and in other nearby roads, especially at dropping-off and picking-up times.

She continued, saying: “It’s a nightmare for residents as there’s just nowhere to park, and it worries me that this situation is played out all over the region and in fact the country. 

“I am concerned for the children – it’s very unsafe, especially when people have to reverse a long way to find a passing place when they find another car heading their way.

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“Another problem is that parking on my road is on both sides, which renders the street one way. 

“But it’s still meant to be a two-way street and some drivers go much too fast down this road too – and it’s on a hill.

“I’ve contacted Sandwell Council, saying this street needs to be 20mph and one-way.

“It seems crazy to me that a street so near a school isn’t 20mph already, but it looks as if, because no one’s been mown down and killed yet, it’s not a priority.

“It seems dreadful to me that we have to wait until someone dies before anything is done,” she claimed, speaking to Birmingham Live.

Ms Barrell also slammed the plans to install an electric car charging point at the end of her road.

She believes this will cause “confrontation” as drivers will “fight over that space”.

A spokesperson for Sandwell Council said: “In recent years Sandwell Council’s highways team has worked hard to improve safety across the borough and investigate and implement road safety measures. 

“All one way requests in the borough are always investigated in detail, as they can have both benefits and disadvantages.

“The area around Gladys Road and Ethel Street is already being considered for a 20mph zone in the current year’s programmes of road safety works. 

“Sandwell Council is listening to local communities and will be providing additional funds to consider a wider range of community requests for road safety measures this year.”

Express.co.uk have contacted Sandwell Council for further comment.

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