Friday, October 15, 2010

Shakers’ fans in ‘don’t ban parking’ plea

 Source: Bury Times

 10:40am Friday 15th October 2010

 FOOTBALL fans have urged town hall chiefs not to ban them parking near their beloved stadium.

For years, Bury FC supporters have disagreed with neighbours of the Gigg Lane ground over whether they should be allowed to park outside nearby homes.

Now, Bury Council bosses want to end the row by considering making it residents’ parking only.

Bury FC officials have opposed the idea and were yesterday due to hand in a petition with 4,500 names to council bosses.

Stadium neighbours said parking problems grew in 2005 when fans-owned club FC United of Manchester began playing at Gigg Lane, increasing the average number of games there in a month from three to six.

Streets affected include Brierley Street, Horne Street, Devon Street and Grafton Street. One Brierley Street resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s got better lately because FC United have been playing some home games in Stalybridge, but the problem is still there.

“On matchdays, it seems football fans park here because they can’t be bothered to pay to park or park further away and walk.

“If I go out on Saturday morning, I can’t come back and park outside my house. That’s not right.”

FC United plan to move to Newton Heath in 2012 and that is set to ease the problem.

But the Shakers are determined to fight the parking restriction proposal.

The club’s community representative, Mike Morris, said: “The club has been an integral part of the local community for 125 years, almost all of those years at Gigg Lane.

“At a time when everyone is working so hard to increase attendances, this decision could undermine all the great work being undertaken by the club in making Bury FC the focal point for so much good going on in the town.

“We are urging supporters to back a campaign aimed at trying to stop planned resident parking permits.”

A Bury Council spoke-sman said: “We are carrying out an informal consultation exercise with residents and businesses in the Gigg Lane area. Letters showing our proposals were delivered, asking for comments by Monday.”