‘Pavement parking puts people at risk’

Jack Gledhill is campaigning against cars parking on pavements on Whitegate Drive
Jack Gledhill is campaigning against cars parking on pavements on Whitegate Drive
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CAMPAIGNERS have warned pedestrians are being put at risk as more and more drivers mount pavements in order to park their vehicles.

Pensioner Jack Gledhill suffered an injury when he inadvertently bumped into a car parked on a forecourt.

And he says pavements are not strong enough to hold vehicles, meaning utilities such as gas and water pipes buried below, could be damaged.

Mr Gledhill, a retired engineer of Gainsborough Road, Blackpool, has written to Blackpool Council warning them of the potential consequences.

The 73-year-old said: “I hit a vehicle and suffered a minor abrasion on my leg but why is it there in the first place?

“Why are vehicles are allowed to park on forecourts? They’re not allowed to drive across pavements, so they shouldn’t be there.

“Pavements are not for parking. There is all sorts of infrastructure underneath, for gas, electricity and water, and they are not built to withstand the weight of vehicles.

“I’m worried this is only going to get worse as more on-road parking restrictions are introduced. The plight of the motorist is taking precedence over the pedestrian.”

His fears were echoed by Carole Holmes, a campaigner for the visually impaired, and a member of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Society for the Blind.

Ms Holmes, of Squires Gate, said: “This is a growing concern for all visually impaired people because it is getting worse.

“We can’t drive so we have to use the pavements to get to the bus stops we use and should be able to get there safely.

“I have had a few near misses with cars swinging in front of me to park on the pavement.”

A spokesman for Blackpool Council confirmed it was illegal to park on pavements but it was up to the police to enforce regulations.

People can legitimately park on private forecourts although they could be penalised if caught by the police pulling onto a forecourt across a pavement.

Permission has been granted to park on footways in some streets off Whitegate Drive as part of a new residents-only parking scheme.

A council spokesman said: “People are not allowed to park on the pavements except in designated resident parking scheme areas. In those areas we have been reinforcing pavements to allow for this. The police enforce regulations around parking on the footway.”