Wigan residents’ anger at workmen’s misuse of flats’ parking bays

Contractors using the parking bays for their vans
Contractors using the parking bays for their vans

Firms working at Wigan’s high-rise flats have been rapped for repeatedly parking in places reserved for emergency services.

Concerned residents and tenants’ representatives spoke out after seeing vehicles of companies doing construction and repair work in the Scholes homes in the painted areas outside which should only be used by fire engines and ambulances.

The firms have already ignored Wigan Council’s first instruction to ensure vans and trucks are parked elsewhere and the local authority says it will issue another order.

Those living in the high-rise building say it could be lethal if a major incident broke out in a tower block and emergency vehicles were hindered getting anywhere near.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “There are signs outside the flats saying there should be no parking there and anyone who does will be fined.

“These companies, though, break the rules and seem to be getting away with it. Sometimes they are completely blocking the bays.

“If there’s a fire or there is someone taken ill who needs an ambulance the emergency services vehicles won’t be able to get access.

“If a regular resident did this the parking organisation would clamp them straight away. This is a regular thing and these companies are blatantly doing this. I think it stinks.”

Chris Brady, tenants rep for Woodcock House, said: “It has been brought to my attention by tenants that people are parking in the emergency areas and I’ve reported it to the housing department.

“It’s difficult for emergency vehicles to get round the corner and then the next thing is they’ve got to negotiate parking in the spaces.

“If there was an emergency we would have to go through every floor to find out who the vehicles belong to and get them moved.”

The problems seem to be particularly acute at Woodcock House and reports of similarly inconsiderate parking at Douglas House have been made.

The council said it is trying to resolve the situation and has also spoken to concerned tenants about the problem.

Joanne Willmott, assistant director for provider management at the town hall, said: “We are aware of parking issues within the hatched area at Woodcock House.

“When we were first made aware of this issue we spoke with the contractors instructing them to avoid parking in these areas.

“Following a further report, we will again speak with the contractors concerned and monitor the situation going forward.

“One of our officers has recently met with residents to discuss a plan of action going forward.”