Anger at ‘pave­ment park­ing’

Cam­paign­ers is­sue ‘tick­ets’ to driv­ers who ob­struct walk­ways

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page -

COM­MU­NITY cam­paign­ers have vowed to stop the scourge of pave­ment park­ing in Formby, with coun­cil­lors say­ing no-one should be forced to walk into traf­fic in or­der to pass parked ve­hi­cles.

Formby Labour coun­cil­lors Catie Page and Nina Killen, along with coun­cil can­di­date Carol Richards, have been plac­ing “Pave­ments Are For Peo­ple” cards on ve­hi­cles that are parked on pave­ments.

The cards of­fer ad­vice to driv­ers, say­ing that driv­ing onto pave­ments is an of­fence, and cars can be towed away if they are caus­ing an ob­struc­tion.

Cllr Page said: “It is an is­sue that is raised with us over and over again: peo­ple are park­ing on pave­ments, which means peo­ple with prams and in wheel­chairs are be­ing forced into the road.”

Mrs Richards, who will be the Labour can­di­date in Har­ing­ton ward at the lo­cal elec­tions next May, said: “We be­lieve most driv­ers do this with­out be­ing aware of the im­pact – they might even think they are be­ing help­ful by not tak­ing up as much of the road – but driv­ers have to re­alise that pave­ments are for peo­ple and that if they cause an ob­struc­tion their car can be towed away or they can re­ceive a fixed penalty no­tice from the po­lice.

“More im­por­tantly, they need to re­alise that they are pre­sent­ing a dan­ger to pedestrian­s who are forced to walk or take wheel­chairs, scoot­ers and prams into the road.

“The cam­paign be­gan last May Bank Hol­i­day week­end.

“We were talk­ing to res­i­dents and vis­i­tors close to the beach and we came across so many il­le­gally parked ve­hi­cles on drives and pave­ments. It was clear that this was badly af­fect­ing vis­i­tors and res­i­dents. It was ob­vi­ous to us that the sit­u­a­tion was reach­ing cri­sis point.

“Wheel­chair users, mums with prams and pedestrian­s were be­ing forced into the road. We con­tacted the Pedestrian­s As­so­ci­a­tion, who pro­vided us with cards that can be put on wind­screens as a warn­ing to il­le­gally parked ve­hi­cles on pave­ments.

“My own ex­pe­ri­ence as a res­i­dent, try­ing to get in or out of St Luke’s Church Road on a hot Bank Hol­i­day week­end, is equally stress­ful. The beach and sur­round­ing wood­land is so pop­u­lar now, which we wel­come, but the whole park­ing is­sue needs man­ag­ing be­fore it be­comes crit­i­cal.”

Cllr Killen added: “Driv­ers must be more mind­ful of the fact that, if their park­ing on the pave­ment means a wheel­chair can­not get past, they are po­ten­tially caus­ing an ob­struc­tion, which is an of­fence.

“Your car could be towed away – or, worse, some­one could be in­jured through hav­ing to go into the road.

‘‘We want to raise aware­ness of this is­sue, rather than go down a dra­co­nian route where the po­lice are giv­ing out fixed penalty no­tices. If driv­ers stay off the pave­ment, they will not be at risk of get­ting a ticket.”

Cllr Killen said work was also be­ing done to im­prove the park­ing and traf­fic sit­u­a­tion near the beach in the sum­mer months.

She said: “We are work­ing closely with Sefton Coun­cil and the Na­tional Trust to im­prove the park­ing sit­u­a­tion in the beach area ready for next sum­mer.

“There were times this sum­mer when the sit­u­a­tion was un­ten­able for res­i­dents, with cars block­ing roads and drive­ways and res­i­dents be­ing un­able to get out or back to their homes.

“This is un­ac­cept­able and we are work­ing on ways to dis­cour­age vis­i­tors from com­ing into Formby once the beach car parks are full and dis­pers­ing the traf­fic more ef­fec­tively to de­crease the amount of queu­ing traf­fic.”

Above, a card placed on parked cars by lo­cals, be­low

Two of the Pedestrian­s As­so­ci­a­tion cards which cam­paign­ers have been plac­ing on the wind­screens of cars they have found parked il­le­gally

From left, Carol Richards, Cllr Nina Killen, Cllr Catie Page and Cllr Carla Thomas (St Oswalds ward), a Formby res­i­dent who uses a mo­bil­ity scooter and of­ten strug­gles to pass ve­hi­cles parked on pave­ments

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