NEIGHBOURS living near an Earley football field are fed up with the “appalling” abuse they receive when players and parents park their cars near their homes.
Residents in Marefield, opposite Laurel Park, have seen cars parked near or on their driveways for months as more than 300 people head to football matches every Saturday morning.
Despite a sign telling drivers to park in either Kilnsea Drive or Maiden Place, hundreds of cars cause congestion and resident Helen King said she is verbally abused when she asks people to move their cars.
Speaking at the Earley Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) meeting on Monday night she added: “They could put yellow lines along the road, but why should we be punished for people parking where they shouldn’t be? What if we want our parents to come round or something?”
NAG’s chairman, Jim Willis, who used to take his sons to the park to play football, has labelled the situation as “absolutely appalling” and said: “I do feel for the people living there.
“I know I couldn’t live there with the way it is.”
Mike Bradshaw, who runs the cafe for Laurel Park Football Club and a former team manager, sympathises with the residents, but argues Wokingham Borough Council needs to build more parking spaces.
He added that there is a lack of volunteers to help manage parking on a Saturday and said: “I’m banging my head against a brick wall all the time.
“We’ve got people parking down in Maiden Place, but comments are being made about parking down there now. I’m talking to businesses about getting the money together so we can sort it out.
“There’s a lot of bureaucracy when trying to do something like this, because I know professional people who are happy to do it, but the council says you need to be one of their contractors.”
Wokingham Borough and Earley Town councillor Pauline Jorgensen said she is “pushing quite hard” for more parking spaces and understands that Marefield is congested even on non-match days.
She said: “We have been asking the borough to extend the car park. We’re working with councillor John Kaiser and the team to see what can be done.
“The footballers are doing their best to make sure people park in the right place and tell away teams where to go.”