Parking row revived

Fire engine obstructed, Railway Street, Meadow Street & Knightshill Crescent
Fire engine obstructed, Railway Street, Meadow Street & Knightshill Crescent

WIGAN residents are still facing a parking nightmare as inconsiderate football and rugby fans ditch their cars on match days, blocking homeowners in.

Last year, the Evening Post reported how a fire engine had got stuck in Knightshill Crescent, Springfield, after cars had parked on both sides of the road, which is too narrow to accommodate such manoeuvres.

But a year on, there is still a major issue with police and council both saying it’s the other’s responsibility.

Ward councillor Steve Dawber said: “Last Wednesday, when Latics were playing Manchester United at the DW Stadium, residents needed to get their cars out, but there was not enough room because another vehicle was on the opposite side of the road.

“They ended up physically dragging the car to the kerb just so they can get past. I have been really disappointed with the police response as we only wanted someone to come down and help us move the car.

“But this is more serious than that - fire engines and ambulances will not be able to get past. We are reluctant to impose parking restrictions for residents so we are trying to get a campaign for road markings to stop people from parking.”

Margaret Farrington, manager of Wickham Hall nursing home, which is located at the bottom of the road, said she has also experienced problems.

She said: “We have an ambulance bay because we have frail and elderly people, so when people park on the other side of the road, the ambulance can’t get to us, or they can’t get out. It poses a danger if the emergency services can’t get through.

“We have complained to the council and they sent a survey out. If they put yellow lines it would make a big difference.”

Wigan Council says residents should report any incidents involving their cars.

Kevin Hargreaves, traffic manager, said: “The issue of vehicle obstruction is a police matter. We have consulted residents three times about introducing parking restrictions but they have not wanted them.

“We do have the option of carrying out a consultation again but residents need to be aware that introducing yellow lines or permits will have an effect on their local amenity.”

Insp Glenn Jones of the Wigan Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This is not a police matter unless it causes an obstruction on a main arterial route, rather than a side road.

“If cars parked on side roads are preventing emergency vehicles from gaining access, then we can issue tickets, but we cannot remove them.

“The council is responsible for issuing penalty tickets if vehicles are parked on yellow lines. With the number of vehicles involved, we do not believe that issuing tickets is the solution. The sports clubs can help to address this problem by putting stewards on those streets affected so they can inform fans of the issue and advise them accordingly.”

The DW Stadium has declined to comment.