CONTROVERSIAL car park barriers dubbed “ridiculous” and “unsafe” by frustrated motorists are to be raised.
Last month, Wyre Council replaced existing barriers at the Teanlowe Centre car park in Poulton which were old and damaged.
It was hoped new 2m high barriers would stop unauthorised vehicles using the car park and prevent the illegal settlement of travellers.
But just weeks after the restrictions were put in place a minibus full of autistic children crashed into the archway leading to safety fears.
Disabled residents also accused the council of discrimination saying the barriers were too low for their specialised vehicles.
And at a community meeting in Poulton on Monday night, the council agreed to raise the barriers to 2.6m – in line with disability regulations.
Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Council, said: “We were concerned about travellers, if we had left the barriers open and travellers had moved on to the site, who would have been to blame, the council. We did speak to the fire, police and ambulance services and they were all satisfied they had codes to access the car park.
“Another issue was delivery drivers, we had a number of complaints from disabled drivers who claimed delivery vans were blocking them in and when they were asked to move were rather abusive.
“However we want to move on and have agreed to lift the barriers to 2.6m to allow disabled vehicles access.
“This will of course allow delivery drivers access as well and we ask for their cooperation on this one, we will start ticketing if required.”
Coun Roger Berry, of Highcross ward, added: “We realised after the barriers went up one or two disabled vehicles were having problems getting underneath.
“So now we will increase the height to 2.6m which is advised under various regulations to facilitate people with disabilities.”
But some residents said they would like to see the barriers completely removed.
John Bailie, of the Concerned Residents of Poulton, said: “The higher you lift the barrier the less reason there is to have them.
“Surely we could reach some sort of agreement with the delivery drivers if they are the main cause of concern.”
Roy Asquith, of Garstang Road West, added: “I drive a camper van which is 2.6m in height, I still won’t be able to access the car park – I must say I am feeling increasingly unwelcome in my own town.”