Fed-up Dunchurch is demanding answers

Pictured: Cllr Howard Robert's by the new parking restrictions that have recently been done on Daventry Road, which is still an issue with local residents.
Pictured: Cllr Howard Robert's by the new parking restrictions that have recently been done on Daventry Road, which is still an issue with local residents.

LIFE in Dunchurch is becoming unbearable, according to fed-up residents.

Parking problems, speeding issues and safety fears are all plaguing people’s lives in the village.

The situation has got so bad that some villagers say they are even contemplating moving away.

The backlash has come after Warwickshire County Council (WCC) painted double yellow lines in Daventry Road.

Campaigners say the parking enforcement down one side of the road has not only resulted in a loss of spaces in an already problematic area, but has also led to an increase in speeding traffic.

Dunchurch resident Kate Vaughan said: “Life in the village is getting unbearable. Despite having lived here for nearly 40 years, I often have nowhere to park my car, and the speeds with which cars are now travelling along Daventry Road is frightening.

“I am seriously considering leaving the village.”

Another resident, Elaine James, said: “The road has turned into a racetrack. Speeds have increased significantly.

I can’t risk the lives of my family and friends. Why would I want to stay in Dunchurch?”

Earlier this month campaigners presented WCC with a petition containing more than 500 signatures opposing the yellow lines.

The next morning - just hours after the petition was handed in - WCC workers arrived in Daventry Road to start painting the yellow lines.

The council said the lines were needed to improve safety.

Another resident, Brian Morgan, said: “We’ve been totally ignored on this issue.

“It’s not just about parking, it’s about safety. Councillors claim that double yellow lines were needed for safety reasons, but in fact they have significantly increased the speed of the traffic through the village.”

Fellow villager Rosie Callaway added: “It’s ridiculous having to park 100 yards away from my house when unloading the weekly shop, especially when that involves crossing the now very dangerous, busy road with my two young children.”  

Another resident Andy Norman said his greatest concern is there will be more death on the roads. He added: “I suppose at least if residents move away from the village, there won’t be as many people to kill and parking will become less of an issue.”

Tony Kember, chairman of the Dunchurch Traders’ Association said its not just residents that are suffering with the lack of parking but businesses too with traders concerned that customers will be put off coming to the village.

He added: “Yellow lines were invented to speed up traffic in urban areas. The last thing we want in our village is faster traffic.”

But not everyone in the village is unhappy. In fact staff at the care home in Daventry Road say the yellow lines have improved life for them.

Lydia Shallcross, manager at Care Through the Millennium, said: “We’re really pleased. It has made it much easier for staff getting in and out of the house with the residents.

“Cars do speed down the road but at least we can see them coming now.”

A special working group, set up by WCC, is now planning to meet next month to discuss a way forward to help resolve parking problems and safety worries.

Representatives from Dunchurch Parish Council, Residents’ Action: Parking in Dunchurch (RAPID), Warwickshire Police and Rugby Borough Council have all been invited.

Borough councillor Graham Francis (Con, Dunchurch and Knightlow) who is part of the working group, vowed to do everything he could to help village residents, along with fellow Dunchurch councillors.

Cllr Francis said: “I’m going to do everything I can to find a solution. We will explore all avenues.

“Hopefully from the meeting someone can come up with an idea and we will pursue it.

“I will do my damndest to find a parking place for Dunchurch.”