VULNERABLE Bromsgrove residents have hit out at highways chiefs after changes to the road they live in mean they can no longer park the cars they rely on close to their homes for most of the day.
The 14 apartments on New Road are run by The Thomas White Cottage Homes Fund, a charity that has provided housing to vulnerable older women since 1885.
Janet Hardiman, 65, raised the alarm with local authorities when notification of the change was publicised in March this year.
The women can only park their cars from 8pm to 8am and for the rest of the time they have to find somewhere else to leave them. And it means if they do park outside their apartments they have to get up before 8am to move them.
Janet told us the flats were specifically for women over 60 years of age and many of the residents were in their 80s and 90s.
“Many of us have health and mobility problems and rely on carers, cleaners, chiropodists and family and friends to call regularly.
“Those of us with cars need to be able to park nearby when getting shopping and generally transporting things to and from our homes.
“We are the only people on New Road who do not have drive or parking faciltiies and yet are amongst the most vulnerable.”
She said it felt like they had been singled out.
“Some of us are already becoming socially isolated by these restrictions as visitors and family are unable to park nearby because they are restricted by mobility issues of their own and this prevents them from being able to visit.
“This whole situation is indicative of the total lack of care and respect for older and vulnerable people in our society.
“Public servants have shown complete disregard by ignoring not just mine, but other residents’ communications on this subject.”
Janet, a former social worker, added she had noticed an increase in speeding since the restrictions were enforced.
She said: “The fact that cars were parked there slowed things down, but now this is not the case.
When the Standard approached Worcester County Council, a spokesperson said: “Whilst there were some objections from local residents, these were considered sympathetically and in accordance with process, but a decision was made to implement the restrictions as proposed.
“Clearly, this will have been disappointing to some residents, but the primary function of A and B-class roads is to facilitate the passage of vehicles, and local authorities have statutory duties towards reducing congestion.
“New Road is not wide enough to accommodate vehicles parked on the carriageway as well as maintaining two directions of free-flowing traffic.”