n Locals delighted by transformation of derelict site

The new car park is declared open
The new car park is declared open

A FREE community car park has been created by people who live in New Bilton.

The facility, on the corner of Edward Street and Rowland Street, is the first of its kind in Rugby and is on the site of a former derelict garage.

Although the land is owned by Rugby Borough Council, it is run by New Bilton community group reNEW – which will oversee the car park’s maintenance, insurance policies, finances and other issues such as risk assessments. It is funded through the Cemex Rugby Benevolent Fund and the Indian Community Centre.

Martin Sparks, who lives in New Bilton and is secretary of the management group, said: “It’s great to see a blot on the local landscape transformed into a useful facility for residents.

“At the same time it provides a smart feature at what is a well used entrance to New Bilton.”

The car park, which has room for up to to ten vehicles, will help residents deal with the congestion in New Bilton’s terraced streets.

Railings and height restrictors have also been fitted to stop caravans and large commercial vehicles using the site.

Cllr Leigh Hunt, portfolio holder for sustainable inclusive communities, said: “This car park is the first of its kind in Rugby and is a great example of the Big Society with residents volunteering to manage and run the site.

“The council is committed to helping our communities to help themselves and this is a prime example of that idea in action.”

A security camera looks over the site from Edward Street and a street lamp has been added to increase visibility for users at night.

Cllr Ish Mistry, councillor for New Bilton and chairman of the management group, said he was delighted with the car park’s opening.

He said: “We are proud of the groups’ achievements and hope that we have inspired others to take responsibility of local assets in their communities.”