Fears for driver safety over college parking

Motorist Jack Fenn, has complained about students parking outside St John Rigby College, along Gathurst Road, Orrell, as it's difficult and dangerous for motorists to get through
Motorist Jack Fenn, has complained about students parking outside St John Rigby College, along Gathurst Road, Orrell, as it's difficult and dangerous for motorists to get through

AN UNHAPPY motorist says parked cars outside a Wigan sixth form college are making the road dangerous for other traffic.

Jack Fenn, from Shevington, says something needs to be done about the lines of vehicles left every day along Gathurst Road outside St John Rigby College.

Mr Fenn, who drives past the establishment every day on his way to walking his dogs in Orrell, says he has witnessed several near misses and vans having to back up with the road effectively becoming single file due to the roadside parking.

He also claimed to have seen cars parked in the bus stop outside the college, though St John Rigby says it has investigated similar reports and found no evidence that this has happened.

Mr Fenn, 77, said: “It’s terrible. It’s only a narrow road to start off with and you can’t get through. The other day I counted 23 cars parked along the road. It’s been like this for ages but it seems to be getting worse. I know a few people who have been grumbling about it. If a van and a car are going in opposite directions they can’t get past. Something certainly wants doing about it because it’s becoming quite dangerous.”

Principal Peter McGhee said there were currently fewer on-site parking spaces than normal due to building work on new IT facilities and there was always higher demand for parking in the summer term due to students’ passing their driving tests. He said the college would continue to monitor the situation but could not prevent people legally parking along the road.

He added: “We’ve got a slight reduction in parking capacity because we’ve got a building construction on site. We don’t anticipate it is going to cause any problems in September or October because the demand for spaces from students at the start of the academic year is not as high. We do advise students at the start of the year that they need to continue with their public transport arrangements because the spaces do become full later in the year.

“We had a communication about a week ago with a suggestion students were parking by the bus stop. We’ve been monitoring that on a regular basis since and we haven’t found that to be the case, although there are cars parked on the road. We’re hoping that by the time we next have this volume of demand there won’t be the same difficulty because we will be back to full capacity in terms of student parking.”

Some St John Rigby students were ticketed last year when parking capacity was reduced due to another building project after parking partly on the pavement, which is illegal.