Car parking ‘verges’ on row

Residents of Sheldon Avenue, Standish, from left, Simon Steedman, Jack Woodcock and Brian Darby, think it is unfair as Wigan Council have told residents they are not allowed to park vehicles on the grass verges and to remove any boulders or stones
Residents of Sheldon Avenue, Standish, from left, Simon Steedman, Jack Woodcock and Brian Darby, think it is unfair as Wigan Council have told residents they are not allowed to park vehicles on the grass verges and to remove any boulders or stones

ANGRY homeowners have hit back after parking restrictions were put in place on a residential Wigan street.

A number of residents on Sheldon Drive, Standish have launched a protest after being banned from parking on a grass verge in their own road.

And they have been warned by council officials that if anybody is caught parking in the restricted area, enforcement action will be taken to recover the costs of any possible damage.

But while the restrictions aim to reduce obstructions to footpaths, homeowner Simon Steedman said it isn’t implemented fairly everywhere in the borough.

The 51-year-old, who received the notice about the restrictions about two weeks ago, says his road is the only one in the borough to receive a notification.

He added: “I just think it’s very unfair that we’re unable to park somewhere in our own street.

“I’d understand if it was every road but I just think it’s incredibly unfair that they’re only targeting ours.

“Along with others, I complained about the new restrictions and asked why it isn’t like this throughout the borough and was just told it was because of a lack of money and man power.”

Council bosses say that footway overriding, parking or obstructing a footway or grass verge is a growing problem across the borough.

They claim it directly contributes to the increasing number of footway defects identified when the council’s highway inspectors undertake their scheduled safety inspections. Restrictions are in place across the borough but letters were sent to Sheldon Drive because of residents’ complaints, a council spokesman said.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure at the council, said: “Vehicles parked on pavements and verges can cause particular access problems for people in wheelchairs, with pushchairs or pedestrians with visual impairments.

“Grass verges can become churned up by continuous parking or driving over them. As well as detracting from the appearance of the road, verge parking causes damage to the highway that can then be the subject of complaints and subsequent costly remedial measures.

“A letter was sent to residents after we received complaints about parking and obstructions in this specific area and we will be inspecting the area again to see if any further action is needed.”

n A North West council collected more than £24,000 in parking fees during what was intended as a trial scheme to provide free parking across the town on Saturdays.

Officials in St Helens launched the initiative last August in a bid to encourage more shoppers into the town centre.

But it has since emerged that all machines in council car park and on street meters still accept cash payments during ‘free Saturday’. And many shoppers have continued to pay despite being entitled to park without charge.