A St Annes councillor has vowed to battle on for a better deal for motorists and residents throughout the town centre as the effects of newly-introduced extended parking limits in shopping areas continue to be closely monitored.
The waiting limit on streets around St Annes Square were extended from 60 to 90 minutes in December as an 18-month experiment after years of campaigning by St Annes Chamber of Trade.
Motorists, traders and residents have been asked by the Chamber and local county councillor Fabian Craig-Wilson to give as much feedback as possible to highways officials at Lancashire County Council to ensure that the experiment is a success.
But Coun Jan Barker, a St Annes Central ward representative on Fylde Council, feels the experimental parking order is ‘a missed opportunity to improve our town’ and is pressing the County Council for other measures to follow.
Among her concerns are the congestion on streets close to the town centre, such as Orchard Road, All Saints Road and Park Road, which have no parking restrictions.
Coun Barker said: “We need to sort out the parking in St Annes once and for all, to make our streets safer and to promote our economy.
“As a resident of Park Road, I have first hand experience of the parking chaos in the town centre – right on my doorstep.
“The experimental parking order, agreed prior to my election, is a missed opportunity to improve our town. I don’t think you can ‘tamper’ with one part of the parking arrangements without knock-on consequences.
“If the length of stay is increased there is a danger of actually reducing the number of visitors to the town centre.
“Meanwhile for unfortunate residents and stressed out commuters, the streets around St Annes Square remain a nightmare unlikely to be resolved by the compromised new parking arrangements.
“Whatever the results of this experiment, a permanent and more comprehensive solution is needed maximising parking opportunities and encouraging longer stays for shoppers.
“This issue remains very much a priority for me and I have brought our concerns directly to County Coun John Fillis. Although he was sympathetic, the order had to be implemented and the results must be evaluated before any further changes can be made.”
Chamber chairman John Moxham said: “We realise there are other areas to be looked at and we applaud Coun Barker’s efforts but it is important at this stage to make sure the extended parking experiment is a success and take it from there.”