WITHthe recent roundof Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs), Dudley Council has adopted a new approachto restricting on-road parking in areas around Russell Hall Hospital.

This is the use of Driving Prohibited Except For Access orders. They make it illegal to evendrive in these roadsunless you occupy or are visiting a property within the road.

Dudley is not alone in adopting these tactics. This is a worrying development and, to my mind, a flagrant abuse of what these orders should be used for, which is management of traffic flow and not parking control.

It would appear that the orders are a result of complaints by residents living near the hospital.

Somecomplaints are possibly justified, but I know from similar issues relating to school traffic that many residents grossly over-react to what they perceive as parking problems.

The development of a super hospital for Dudley was always going to bring traffic and parking problems.

The car parking provided at the hospital is grossly inadequate and expensive.

So no wonder people are willing to park in nearby roads and walk the rest of the way.

I have to go to the hospital a number of times a year for check-ups and treatment, and will for the rest of my life.

I have, until now, often been one of thosewho park in a nearby road, but in doing so I have never restricted access, nor have I ever seen this occur.

The law has been for a long time that parking on public roads outside residential properties was public space, not the private space of the house occupant. Effectively those roads around the hospital subject to these particular TROs have to all intents and purposes now become private roads, lacking only gates to turn them into gated estates.

Well, apart from the fact that this is only going to increase the stress levels, time loss and costs of people who have to attend the hospital, I strongly object to the fact that these roads will presumably continue to be maintained at public expense out of my council tax.

If the selfish people, and I can think of no other description, who live in them really want private roads, then fine, but they must be made financially responsible for their upkeep, which should no longer be a charge to the public purse contributed to by those who are now running the risk of criminalising themselves by driving on them.

M Pearson Halesowen