Crackdown on illegal parking

Garswood Street, which is a problem area for illegal parking in Ashton
Garswood Street, which is a problem area for illegal parking in Ashton

COUNCIL bosses have agreed to look again at parking enforcement in a town because of problems with illegal parking.

For years drivers have flouted the rules in the town, parking on double yellow lines and on pavements in Ashton town centre - even though there is plenty of free parking.

But now enforcement officers are cracking down in a bid to put an end to the problem.

Ashton Coun Paul Tushingham met with council bosses last week to decide what needed to be done and it was agreed that the situation would be assessed throughout the coming weeks.

Kathy Leyland, the council’s enforcement manager, said in an email to Coun Tushingham: “Over the next two to three weeks we will send a twice daily patrol over to Ashton.

“This will be a combination of foot and mobile officers and we will be looking at a morning and afternoon patrol. “The Civil Enforcement Officers will log in their hand held device every time they enter a street and we will review this log of patrols after the three weeks.”

Following the initial assessment it would then be discussed whether the type and level of patrols have been effective.

The enforcement team did a walkabout around the streets of the town to see for themselves where the problems lie.

Coun Tushingham, who also lives in the town, said: “No matter when I come into Ashton, at any time and on any day I know that I’m going to see illegal parking.

“The main problem areas are on Gerard Street outside KFC where people insist on parking on the double yellows on a bend in the road, which is really dangerous, as well as on Garswood Street, where people are parking their entire cars on the pavement.

“This is an offence in itself - not to mention the trouble it can cause for people in wheelchairs, people with sight problems and mums with prams who have to go into the road to get around the vehicles.

“We hope that increasing the visibility of officers will act as a deterrent and let people know that they can’t get away with not following the rules any more.”

Butchers Lane is also being reviewed as to whether double yellow lines are needed there any more or whether it can be another free parking area for the town.

Mrs Leyland added: “When we conducted the walk about it was noted that as soon as drivers see the Civil Enforcement Officer they tend to get in their car and drive off so they can not issue a Penalty Charge Notice.

“Whilst this acts as an excellent deterrent drivers tend to re-park once they think the officer has gone.”