Accident black spots and free parking just some of topics on #harboroughhour

The Mercado Lounge opened its doors last Thursday.
The Mercado Lounge opened its doors last Thursday.

A dangerous road, housing developments and car parking charges were among the topics raised last night during #harboroughhour on Twitter.

Opinions and ideas were flowing freely during the weekly instalment of #harboroughhour as views were traded back and forth.

The ninth instalment of the initiative, which gives Harborough a captive audience and a forum for ideas every Wednesday between 8pm and 9pm, was probably the liveliest yet in terms of debate and viewpoints.

One of the subjects raised was the danger posed by the current road layout at the top of Clack Hill (Kettering Road), turning onto the Desborough bypass.

A #harboroughhour newbie, Melanie Wisher, said: “Right-turn from A6 into Kettering Road should not be allowed. It’s an accident black spot...My theory about right-turns in Market Harborough continues as highways department are proposing no right-turns from A6 into Kettering Road...Notices about it are on lampposts in Kettering Road. Objections need to be done before September 12.”

And Harborough district and county councillor Sarah Hill later tweeted: “Residents asked for the turn to be reviewed due to accidents.”

Other topics covered included the opening of the new Mercado Lounge bar at the former Golden Wonder site in Abbey Street (opens tonight, Thursday), the successful truck pull event in Medbourne on Bank Holiday Monday, the Shambala Festival at Kelmarsh Hall, Welton’s appearance in the finals of the national Local Business Accelerators awards, Section 106 payments from house-builders, Harborough’s Frances Quinn in episode two of the Great British Bake Off, some job vacancies arising, the flood-that-wasn’t from last week (thankfully) and the proliferation of sandbags around town, T-shirt printing and the return of Harborough children back to school.

The issue of car parking and Harborough District Council’s policies got a thorough airing following the release by the Mail of agenda details ahead of a meeting on September 3.

Contactless payments, the ability to pay via mobile phone and the internet, introducing free parking on special days, reviewing the ratio of long-stay and short-stay spaces, and the possibility of introducing the first hour as free parking are all questions the council’s scrutiny panel will look at on Tuesday.

Figures were also released on #harboroughhour showing that the town’s Commons car park brings in the most income per year (£206,410), not the Sainsbury’s/MJMAPP car park (£156,529) which is the widely-held belief.

People on #harboroughhour seemed most intrigued about contactless payment possibilities and the MRM company even tweeted that it has the capability to provide such a service.

As an amusing aside at the end of the hour, @bowden_saint mooted that a ‘masked’ #harboroughhour should be held at the Mercado Lounge one Wednesday.

Mail deputy editor Alex Blackwell, who was monitoring the Mail account last night, said: “it was good to see some new faces on there last night who were trying #harboroughhour for the first time.

“Although its was slightly less busy than the last few weeks there were more opinions flying about a good sense of community debate.”

By hour’s end, there had been 101 tweets sent, 60 ‘@’ messages and 40 re-tweets with a reach of 26,924 people (thanks again to Infonote DataSystems for the stats).

Story by Alex Blackwell

Follow Alex on Twitter, @BlackwellHarb.