Will no-one stop pavement parkers?

Local resident Jack Gledhill is fed up with cars parking on the pavement along Whitegate Drive in Blackpool and claims wardens and police are turning a blind eye to it.'Jack next to an example of the parked cars.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'21-7-2014
Local resident Jack Gledhill is fed up with cars parking on the pavement along Whitegate Drive in Blackpool and claims wardens and police are turning a blind eye to it.'Jack next to an example of the parked cars. PIC BY ROB LOCK'21-7-2014
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A pensioner who says he has been fighting illegal parking in his neighbourhood for years is calling for more action to be taken.

Jack Gledhill says staff and customers of businesses along Whitegate Drive, close to the Belle Vue pub, are parking illegally on pavements on a daily basis, blocking routes for pedestrians and damaging the footpath.

But the 76-year-old, of Gainsborough Road, says as frustrating as this is that it is seemingly ignored by police and council officers.

He said: “Cars parked on the pavements make things difficult for blind or disabled people, you have to duck and dive along.

“Yes I appreciate these businesses have to get their staff and customers to them but the law and safety of pedestrians should be taken over the convenience of parking.

“I’d like the council, police and drivers to obey the law. There’s no right of way for drivers on the pavement and that should be enforced.

“You can’t just pick and choose which part of the law you like.”

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council cabinet member for highways and transport, explained parking on private forecourts such as those on Whitegate Drive is not illegal but driving over pavements to get to these is an offence and added it is down to police to choose which issue they prioritise in an area.

He said: “It is illegal to park on pavements, however, this is not the case here where vehicles are parking on private forecourts.

In order to access those forecourts, however, vehicles have to drive across the pavement which, in theory, is an offence.

“It’s a matter for the police if they feel the need to enforce that and where that ranks in their priority list.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “Lancashire Constabulary treats as a priority road traffic offences and issues that are likely to result in serious injury or worse.

“Minor offences can be dealt with when reported and if a matter is causing serious inconvenience to other road users, including pedestrians, then it will be addressed as soon as practicable.

“Members of the public should report on-going minor matters to their local neighbourhood team who will determine the appropriate response.”

Now council bosses have set up a forum, The Highways Consultative Forum, for residents to discuss all highway issues, including parking on pavements.

Coun Jones added: “The new forum has set up a group specifically to discuss parking on pavements so they may wish to make a representation to the police if they feel it should be a priority.”

The forum is attended by invited representatives.