Posted: Wed 10th Jul 2024

Residents Call for Parking Schemes Near Wrexham AFC’s Racecourse Ground

North Wales news and information

CALLS have been made for resident parking schemes to be introduced near to Wrexham AFC’s Racecourse Ground to tackle matchday parking issues.
Attendances at the historic stadium have increased to as much as 12,500 since the football club was taken over by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
However, the Red Dragons’ popularity has led to chaos on surrounding streets, with some fans reportedly blocking residents’ drives and parking on double yellow lines.
A local politician told a meeting held today (Tuesday, 9 July) it had also led to angry clashes between supporters and people living nearby.
Cllr Phil Wynn (Ind), who represents the area opposite the ground on Mold Road, has now urged Wrexham Council to introduce measures to help residents park close to their homes.
His comments were made as members of the local authority’s executive board approved plans to use the car park of the council’s housing depot to provide extra matchday parking.
The site on Ruthin Road in Wrexham has 135 spaces and it’s hoped the proposals will ease the situation as the club prepares for its first season in League One since 2005.
However, Cllr Wynn said proposals to create a new Kop stand to increase the ground’s capacity meant there was not likely to be an easy solution.
The council’s lead member for education, said: “This issue of matchday parking is not going to go away, particularly as and when the stadium is extended with the new Kop stand.
“I’ve been working with local residents along Mold Road to carry out a questionnaire about concerns over the matchday parking experience.
“The majority of those that responded would be keen to see some sort of residential parking scheme brought in along Mold Road.
“About 40 per cent of those that responded did say that they have experienced some sort of altercation with fans, be it from Wrexham or away fans parking up in their streets.”
Payment will be required to park at the Ruthin Road site, which the council is aiming to open to fans as soon as possible.
Improvements will also be carried out to pedestrian routes between the car park and the stadium, which a report states is within a 15 minute walking distance.
Cllr Marc Jones, who represents part of Rhosddu, said people in his community had also been impacted by matchday parking issues.
He asked if the money raised from charging for parking at the housing depot could be used to fund resident parking schemes.
The Plaid Cymru councillor said: “I would hope that if there is surplus income generated from this, that perhaps we can look at residential parking schemes for matchdays, just to make sure that there aren’t those flashpoints.
“There is some inconsiderate parking by people on matchdays, parking on double yellow lines and parking outside people’s drives.”
Deputy council leader David A Bithell said in response that there were rules which meant any income would need to go into the authority’s housing revenue account, and could not be used for resident parking schemes.
Labour group leader Dana Davies asked if extra parking could be provided at the council-owned Crown Buildings to increase footfall in the city centre.
Cllr Andy Gallanders (Plaid) also called for a wider review of city centre parking to include private sites.
Meanwhile, doubts were raised by one politician over how well the Ruthin Road facility would be used, as well as concerns it could impact on staff parking.
Cllr Mike Morris (Cons) said: “I honestly don’t think, with human nature being what it is, that people will go to Ruthin Road out of choice, and they will try and find somewhere else.
“If we’re opening it for matchdays, are we looking at impinging on staff parking during the week if it’s a midweek match?
“Whenever I go to Ruthin Road, it’s very difficult to find a space, and it’s usually quite full.”
However, council leader Mark Pritchard (Ind) described the sharp rise in the club’s popularity as “fantastic”.
He urged local residents to take advantage of the situation by renting out their driveways to supporters.
He said: “If I lived on Mold Road, and I had spare capacity, I would rent my drive out and I’d probably give the money to charity.
“If you go to any big club, you have problems with parking. It’s part of the norm and you get used to it.
“A lot of people like to be on the fringes when they go and watch their football club, because they can get away quicker.”
Executive board members later approved plans to use the housing depot site for matchday parking and pledged to look at further ways to address councillors’ concerns.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter

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