‘Ridiculous car boot traffic rules badly affecting my life’

Reporter:

Rebecca Cole and Thomas Morton

A WOMAN is livid with “ridiculous” car boot sale traffic controls which have cost her £100 to get about 20 yards to her house.

Ann Bale-Williams, a disabled badge holder who lives on Park Gates, off Chirk Road, Chirk, is forced to take a detour every time she wants to leave or enter her house on a Sunday as a result of a council traffic order.

The order is designed to alleviate congestion as a result of the popular Chirk Car Boot Sale, but the detour involves Miss Bale Williams having to travel back up to the A483 and along to the McDonald's roundabout, where she is then forced to join the regular queueing traffic for the car boot sale. She believes on a busy day it can take up to 30 minutes.

She said: “The road had no traffic on it at all either way and yet I am not allowed to pass that sign to get to my house – when I did I was booked, sent to court and had to pay £100.”

Miss Bale-Williams says she was fined £40 for driving the 20 yards and ordered to pay £40 costs with a £20 surcharge.

The temporary traffic order signs are put up to stop queueing traffic from using certain roads, but unfortunately for Miss Bale-Williams, she lives just behind where the no-entry sign is put up for her road.

“They put the signs up at 6am until whatever time they feel like taking the signs down,” she said. “Sometimes it can be 1pm and it can be as late as 5pm which disrupts my day and the person next door.

“It is just ridiculous to stop me going up my road – 20 yards to my door,” she added. “Nobody comes down, so I wouldn’t run into anyone. I wouldn’t be interfering with anyone else, I can easily get past it. It’s bureaucracy gone bananas.”

Miss Bale-Williams, 56, is a horse breeder who judges horses internationally, from Europe to America and Australia.

“At times in the spring and summer I have mares foaling and need to get to see them.

“If anything should go wrong and I need to get back to the house for injections and so on, I have to go all the way round and follow the people going into the car-boot sale and then get to the house, which can take up to half an hour, and in an emergency this is not good enough.”

Miss Bale-Williams suffers from stenosis of the spine, which means she cannot park and carry things back and forth either.

She said residents’ access was not being considered: “It all needs looking at again, taking into consideration that residents were here before the car boot was and we should not be taken advantage of.”

Cllr for Chirk North, and Mayor of Wrexham Ian Roberts said: “It’s almost impossible to police the traffic movement to everyone’s satisfaction during a busy Sunday morning. Everything possible is being done to keep everyone happy and alleviate the problem.

“The current plan was a result of a consultation process between the council, the police and residents.

“It does upset a number of residents when they are blocked in, but we have a very busy and successful car-boot sale that happens here.”

A spokesman for Wrexham Council said: “The one-way system has been in effect for over a year now on event days and was implemented following consultation with police, local members, the event organisers and residents. While it does cause a disadvantage for some, the general consensus is that the system is the most effective way of managing the traffic.”

North Wales Police did not want to comment on the issue.

- A court spokesman confirmed Miss Bale-Williams was fined £40 with £60 court costs for failing to comply with the indication given by a traffic signal.

See full story in the Leader

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