A GROUP of residents say they are at their “wits end” at being unable to park near their homes.

The householders, who live in Wood Street, in Norton, are demanding a solution to the long-running problem, which has led to many people being forced to park their cars in alternative streets or St Nicholas Street car park.

Rhoz Shutt, who has lived in Wood Street for seven years, said residents were left with virtually no chance of parking near their homes after 6pm.

“I am finding it more and more stressful to the point where I will not move my car unless absolutely necessary for fear of not being able to park on my return or having to spend the whole evening curtain twitching, watching for a space to become available,” she said.

“I am now just about at my wits end with this fiasco and I am utterly fed-up, upset and outraged about coming home from work and not being able to park anywhere near my home.”

Rhoz said the problem had got worse after the introduction of 30- minute parking restrictions in Commercial Street, meaning residents from there were now parking in Wood Street.

Fellow resident Hannah Bramhall said she had moved to Wood Street last September and faced problems with parking on a daily basis.

“Many nights I have no option but to park in St Nicholas Street car park to ensure I do not receive a parking ticket for parking illegally in Wood Street just to be near my home,” she said.

“Many of the spaces are taken up by residents of neighbouring streets due to the restrictions there.

“I would like to see the spaces permitted for residents of Wood Street with a 30-minute stay only for non-residents to allow for people to use them to access the shops on Commercial Street.

“This would allow residents to park near their homes overnight and also ensure that the spaces were not ‘blocked’ all day by non-residents.”

She said that she believed this would also benefit the local shops by ensuring that spaces were available for customers to use throughout the day.

Leoni Lenaghan said she and her partner both worked late in restaurants and often didn’t get home until 11pm or later.

“When you have to drive around to find a space it’s a nuisance. If I am coming home alone, I don’t want to have to park streets away and walk alone to get home,” she said.

Members of Norton Town Council said they had sympathy with the residents and hoped a planning application for parking on the former ATS site in Commercial Street would help to ease the situation.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: “Wood Street is a highway maintainable at public expense, and North Yorkshire County Council has no duty to provide either on-street or off-street parking for residents.

“The introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement last year saw the enforcement of parking regulations transferred from the police to the county council with the aim of providing improved enforcement and consequent benefits for traffic management and road safety.

“However, in the past, as and when each and every parking restriction has been considered, consultation with residents, and/or their representatives has been undertaken and concerns discussed, such as those about displaced parking. It seems the last consultation over parking restrictions in Wood Street was in early 1999.

“The introduction of residents’ only parking spaces in Wood Street would require the creation of a residents’ parking scheme, which would involve a public consultation exercise, a new traffic regulation order and associated signing and lining.

“The county council has prioritised highway maintenance across the network and there is therefore no resources to take forward a residents’ parking scheme on Wood Street.”