Health centre parking plea

Margaret Grant who was given a parking ticket after not being able to find anywhere to park outside Whitegate Drive Medical Centre.
Margaret Grant who was given a parking ticket after not being able to find anywhere to park outside Whitegate Drive Medical Centre.
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A BLACKPOOL motorist hit with a parking ticket outside a busy health centre has called for more parking.

Margaret Grant had rushed her 12-year-old son to Whitegate Drive Medical Centre after he injured his shoulder during a rugby match at school.

But after driving around the centre to find somewhere to park, the 42-year-old left her car on Westmorland Avenue – a residents’ only spot.

And when she returned to her vehicle, she had been issued a parking ticket.

Miss Grant, of South Shore, has now called for visitor parking instead of resident only spaces.

She said: “I had a call from Andrew’s school to say he had injured himself during a rugby match and he needed checking out.

“We went straight to the centre but I couldn’t find anywhere to park until I finally spotted a space on Westmorland Avenue.

“However it turns out this is now within a resident parking scheme, although the signs are not well placed as I could not see any instruction on the road.

“It’s ridiculous, there are around 20 spaces in the medical centre car park, even the staff have to park on the street.

“This is a walk-in centre, they should anticipate heavy footfall.”

Last month Blackpool Council introduced new rules allowing only residents of Cumberland Avenue and Westmorland Avenue to park on the streets between 8am and 6pm.

Residents on Park Road said it had become impossible to park outside their home since the permit scheme was introduced.

And Miss Grant believes the council and the Primary Care Trust should concentrate on providing more parking spaces.

She said: “I understand that residents need a space outside their homes but most of them are at work from 8am to 6pm.

“I am sure if the council allowed one hour parking throughout the day things would be a lot better.”

Miss Grant is considering whether to contest the ticket issued on Wednesday.

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for streets and transport, said: “We are currently trialling a residents parking scheme on the streets around the health centre in order to help local residents who have been struggling to park outside their houses.

“In the first few days of the scheme, our parking services were more lenient to people who were not aware of the changes. This resulted in quite a few parking fines being rescinded so people were informed about the new rules without being penalised.”

Blackpool NHS was unavailable to comment.