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Council parkers brought to book at Trowbridge library
USERS at Trowbridge’s newly revamped library have found themselves unable to park as Wiltshire Council staff take up spaces reserved for the public.
The new library was unveiled by the council in September as part of the £24m refurbishment of County Hall, which had its official opening today, but staff based at the new HQ have been using the 42 spaces reserved for the public, to the frustration of visitors.
On a number of occasions in the last week staff from the Wiltshire Times have observed cars with Wiltshire Council staff badges in those spaces, despite being entitled to free parking in the County Hall car park.
John Fairbrother, of Alderton Way, is among those who have found it hard to get a space. He said: “It’s a disgrace. It’s so badly organised. I had a word with the library manager and she agreed it needs to be sorted. It’s a lovely library, and it should be for what’s been spent on it, but they just haven’t thought things through.”
Cllr Graham Payne said he had four residents approach him to complain about the situation within a week.
He said: “It is imperative that the general public are given at least 40 car parking spaces outside the library in Trowbridge so that they can access the facilities.
“At the moment it’s choc-a-block with staff cars. It’s a problem that has to be addressed pronto.”
He said he feared problems with car parking would have a knock-on effect of reducing shopping trips to the town centre.
The library is larger than its predecessor across Bythesea Road, and contains 40,000 books, with free WiFi access, self-service technology and a reference section. The adjacent reception and courtyard café is intended to allow people to meet up with councillors and officers to discuss their issues.
The council has apologised. A spokesman said: “We would like to apologise to any member of the public who has been unable to park at the new library.
“Wiltshire Council staff are aware they should not park in the designated car parking spaces for library customers. Thank you for alerting us to the concerns raised by library customers.
“We will monitor the situation closely and continue to advise staff not to occupy the visitor parking bays.”