A FOOTBALL CLUB has been accused of not doing enough to prevent “dangerous and inconsiderate” parking around its grounds during home matches.
Residents living near Newton Aycliffe Football Club’s (NAFC) ground at Moore Lane say their own cars are often blocked in by droves of fans parking outside their homes when the side plays.
They argue the roads are too narrow to cope with the volume of traffic the games attract and say it is only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs.
George Mason, 67, who has lived at Swan Walk for 18 years, said: “In the old days, fans would walk to the match or get the bus but the club has been getting bigger and bigger and now we have people driving here from all over.
“The car park is just too small. They either need to build a new car park or bring back the park and ride.”
His neighbour, Ken Metcalfe, 54, added: “We just don’t go out when there is a match on because when you get back there is nowhere to park.”
The Northern League side is based at Newton Aycliffe Sports Club, which also provides cricket, rugby, archery and a host of other activities for children and adults.
Mr Mason said a letter asking residents not to use the sports club car park on Monday, April 21, when NAFC played Shildon, was the final straw.
“I was fuming,” he said. “We never use the car park. We deserve an apology”
The letter, from sports club secretary, Shaun Saunders, makes the same request for an upcoming music festival on Sunday, May 4.
It also states that fans and festival-goers are being actively encouraged to come on foot and that the police will be there to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.
Mr Saunders said: “I really didn’t mean to cause any offence. I simply wanted to give people a heads up.”
Dan Lewis, general manager of NAFC, said the club had previously put on a park and ride scheme for major games and had also sought permission from Great Aycliffe Town Council to use its field as an overflow car park on several occasions.
“We are aware there is an issue with parking during major games and we will continue to work with the police to minimise disruption,” he added.