Tensions at breaking point over mosque parking

Swindon Road in Dewsbury. (D531B447)
Swindon Road in Dewsbury. (D531B447)

Tensions between residents and a nearby mosque are reaching breaking point as parking chaos engulfs the street.

People in Eightlands say they have been met with torrents of abuse and threats when trying to confront users of the Madina Academy. The police have been called on numerous times to break up arguments.

Residents say mosque users regularly park in their private car park and on double yellow lines, grid-locking Swindon Road at peak times.

In June, an officer from Kirklees Council’s anti-social behaviour unit was called in to mediate between the two groups – but that appears to have failed.

Now a senior councillor has said: “Enough is enough.

“People have had to put up with this for far too long,” said Coun Paul Kane (Lab, Dews East). “This is about people being unfair to the community that actually live there.

“I am insisting that something is going to be done.”

Residents in Beech Walk contacted the Reporter, saying the problem had been persistent in the two years since the mosque opened. They all wanted to remain anonymous as some have had threats made against them.

One Beech Walk resident, who is a Muslim, was keen to point out that it was not a race issue, saying instead it was about a basic lack of respect.

He added: “It is utter chaos out there.”

One man threatened to “smash his teeth” in when he told him he could not park in the car park.

Last week, a middle-aged woman was reduced to tears after she tried to park and a man abused her.

Many residents complain of not being able use the private car park, which is owned by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH). Some have even changed working hours to get home in time to beat the rush.