“SELFISH” drivers are using Taunton’s Castle Green as a car park EVERY DAY and putting lives in danger, it was claimed this week.
Photos taken by the County Gazette show drivers constantly use the £3million development as a free-for-all parking area only five months after it was unveiled as an open space by Prince Edward.
But Somerset County Council, responsible for traffic enforcement, cannot take any action as the land is owned by Taunton Deane Council.
The site was once a car park, and many feel those still using it as one are putting people at risk.
Carlos Alfaro, landlord at the Castle Green Inn, said: “It’s a dangerous situation now. Drivers come in and spin around, and those who don’t know the area don’t know what to do when they’ve driven on to the space.
“Some are like rabbits in the headlights and somebody’s going to get hurt. The sooner something’s done the better.”
Taunton Deane Council says motorists should only be using the road through the square to access the Castle Hotel and for deliveries to shops and pubs, but drivers have been spotted spinning around, leaving tyre marks on the paving.
Hotel proprietor Kit Chapman said: “This needs to be nipped in the bud, except the bud has blossomed into a flower.
"It’s a smear on our beautiful open space. It cost millions and by default they’ve gone from one car park to another.”
A Deane Council spokesman said: “Drivers who continue to park at Castle Green are showing a selfish disregard for the vast majority.
“Parking restrictions were not thought necessary but with a minority of people still choosing to park on Castle Green the council will implement more formal and legal measures to protect the area.
“It should be perfectly obvious that the vast majority of the area is for the enjoyment of pedestrians.
"There is no excuse for people to think they can park there. It is not signed or marked out as parking.
"Drivers who do park there are doing the town a disservice.”
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