Res­i­dents call for ac­tion on dan­ger­ous street park­ing

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ

PAR­ENTS with pushchairs and wheel­chair users are be­ing forced onto dan­ger­ous roads be­cause of parked cars block­ing pave­ments.

The is­sue is among a num­ber of prob­lems frus­trat­ing res­i­dents in West Lan­cashire as the num­ber of cars on our streets con­tin­ues to grow.

Ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment for Trans­port, there were 1.19 cars per house­hold in the

North West in 2018, a rise of 13% com­pared with 15 years ear­lier.

As that num­ber con­tin­ues to grow, more cars are spilling off drive­ways and onto pave­ments, but there is lit­tle power to stop those who are park­ing an­ti­so­cially.

Un­der cur­rent leg­is­la­tion, only the po­lice can pun­ish driv­ers who park on foot­paths if there are no other re­stric­tions in place, mean­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are pow­er­less when res­i­dents com­plain.

Lan­cashire County Coun­cil is propos­ing a change in the law to deal with the is­sue, sug­gest­ing that the of­fence of ob­struct­ing the high­way be de­crim­i­nalised so that its own en­force­ment teams can is­sue tick­ets.

How­ever, like many other parts of the coun­try, West Lan­cashire has some streets so nar­row that if driv­ers al­ways had to park solely on the road, other ve­hi­cles would not be able to pass – ef­fec­tively creat­ing park­ing re­stric­tions where none cur­rently ex­ist.

As such, County Cllr Keith Id­don told a meet­ing of the full coun­cil that he did not want to see a blan­ket ban on pave­ment park­ing in Lan­cashire, as has ex­isted in Lon­don since 1974.

“It’s a very im­por­tant is­sue, [be­cause] we are a very di­verse county. In Lon­don, the city has adapted to [the ban] – in Lan­cashire, we aren’t that for­tu­nate,” he said.

We asked Orm­skirk and Burscough res­i­dents about their ex­pe­ri­ences of the is­sues of park­ing around the bor­ough and a large num­ber of prob­lem ar­eas were men­tioned by frus­trated mo­torists and pedes­tri­ans.

They in­cluded streets that are too nar­row to park purely on the road; ar­eas that are per­sis­tently dou­ble parked, caus­ing ac­cess dif­fi­cul­ties for emer­gency ser­vices; and var­i­ous ar­eas where pave­ments are so blocked by cars that vul­ner­a­ble pedes­tri­ans are forced onto the road.

Ten­sions sur­round­ing the is­sue are such that one stu­dent re­vealed that his and a friend’s car were de­lib­er­ately scratched and marked by neigh­bours who were an­gry with their park­ing.

Chris Smith was liv­ing in Green Lane when the prob­lems oc­curred. He ex­plained: “To be­gin with we parked with our cars ever so slightly on the kerb, not block­ing any­one’s ac­cess, and the cars were van­dalised mul­ti­ple times.

“This van­dal­ism also came with a note to my next door neigh­bours telling them to move the car off the pave­ment. The van­dal­ism did cease when the cars were moved off the kerb, how­ever it was a bit too lit­tle too late.

“I do think in se­ri­ous cases, such as St He­lens Road out­side [Edge Hill] the po­lice should take de­ci­sive ac­tion. How­ever, in other sit­u­a­tions such as mine, I think van­dal­is­ing a stu­dent’s car he worked his back­side off to pay for is dis­grace­ful, and tak­ing the law into your own hands like that is a dan­ger­ous thing to do.”

The mat­ter was re­ported to po­lice but no cul­prit was iden­ti­fied.

Park­ing around the univer­sity does re­main a hot­bed of com­plaints but the theme is re­flected in most built-up ar­eas across Orm­skirk and its sur­round­ings.

One Col­burne Close res­i­dent said that par­ents used her road when drop­ping off chil­dren at two nearby schools and have been abu­sive when she has chal­lenged them about block­ing her car in.

She said: “Par­ents park their cars dou­ble parked ev­ery day. You can’t walk on the pave­ment, you have to walk in the road. The schools know about it and so does the coun­cil but still it goes on.

“They park in front of our houses on dou­ble yel­low lines but still noth­ing stops them.”

Schools were a re­cur­ring theme among those who raised is­sues, with An­thony Bald­win men­tion­ing Tower Hill as an­other area rife with pave­ment park­ing.

He said that cars reg­u­larly dou­ble park on the pave­ment, forc­ing pedes­tri­ans onto the street.

He added: “Chil­dren walk­ing in roads to get past cars parked on pave­ments is a tragedy wait­ing to hap­pen. Tower Hill is a no­to­ri­ous rat run for cars speed­ing any­way.

“Cars parked dou­ble

County Cllr Keith Id­don County Coun­cil­lor Gil­lian Oliver

In some cases, driv­ers park com­pletely block­ing pave­ments

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