High-profile killings bring parking and women's safety to fore

·2-min read
A residents' parking street full of cars in the centre of town, and inset, Coun Marina Strinkovsky
A residents' parking street full of cars in the centre of town, and inset, Coun Marina Strinkovsky

Resident parking schemes in Swindon often force women to park a significant distance from their home and walk through dark streets.

And since the high-profile killings of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa women are speaking up about it, says Labour councillor for Eastcott Marina Strinkovsky.

Coun Strinkovsky has put forward a motion to Swindon Borough Council, which will be debated next week, asking the council to use the local knowledge of residents to address the shortage of parking in areas where residents' schemes are used.

Her motion says: “Residents in permit areas experience parking shortages that often prevent them from parking within a reasonable distance from their homes. Women often have to walk some distance from their cars to their homes and have raised legitimate safety concerns about their inability to find a parking space on their street, heightened by recent well-publicised attacks on women walking alone after dark

“Members of the community are an untapped resource when it comes to the research and development of solutions to highly local issues like parking and safety.”

Coun Strinkovsky told the LDR: “After the cases of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa. This became an issue with a capital I, not a minor inconvenience, and women found they could have their voice heard on it.

“I don’t own a car, and like many people I thought it wasn’t that big an issue - if you live in a Victorian or Edwardian terrace, the streets aren’t designed for duel car ownership, and there isn’t much you can do about it.

“But it has been raised with me several times.”

The recently elected councillor said local knowledge is key to finding a solution.

She said: “People know their streets and area. In my street, I think there’s space for three extra spaces. Other people I n other streets will have similar knowledge.

“It will need a granular solution -  shortening the double yellow lines in one street, doing something else in another one, specific solutions for specific streets and area and that’s where the knowledge of the people living there will be key.”

“This will need the council to really engage with the residents and also to work across portfolios. This isn’t just a highways and parking issue, and its not just a safety and policing issue. People don’t live their lives in the lines of how the council is organised.

The full council meeting starts at 7pm on Thursday September 29