Alena Dostalova

Calls to shut Pontcanna Fields car park due to Covid rule-breakers

Residents are calling on Cardiff Council to close the car park at Llandaff and Pontcanna Fields because non-residents are driving there to exercise, contravening Welsh Government coronavirus rules.

Locals have turned to social media every weekend throughout January to raise concerns about the overcrowded car park and busy paths because they claim people are driving to Pontcanna from outside the area.

Alena Dostalova lives nearby and is among those calling for the car park to be closed.

She says, “It’s absolutely ridiculous every weekend. The car parks are always full, people blatantly meeting up in large groups everywhere.”

“I’ve honestly got to the point where I hate leaving the house on the weekends and my neighbours feel the same. If I didn’t have to take the dog out I would avoid it completely.”

Stefan Nubert, who lives opposite the fields and exercises there daily, said: “As soon as you have a nice, sunny weekend it is rammed all day with people quite literally queuing to get in.

“It’s quite infuriating to see the volume of cars coming in, I mean, chances are if you drive to use this car park you don’t live anywhere near here.”

In response to the social media posts, South Wales Police officers have been patrolling the car parks and issuing fines over the weekend.

However, Labour Councillor for the area, Iona Gordon, argues that closing the car parks would be unfair as everyone’s needs should be considered.

“I think it’s a little bit selfish for people to talk about closing a car park which would stop people with disabilities or mobility difficulties from accessing green space,” she said.

Gordon also said that the police have been working hard to issue fines and ensure that anyone breaking Government guidelines are turned away.

A council spokesperson said: “The council is aware of a number of recent reports of people driving to Pontcanna Fields to exercise and Officers are liaising with colleagues at South Wales Police to help address the situation.”

They say the enforcement of Covid-19 regulations is a matter for the police and are urging people to follow the Welsh Government’s guidelines.