We can't park outside our homes, say Fleetwood residents in parking permit petition
Residents on a Fleetwood street say they are so frustrated at not being able to park outside their homes they have set up a petition.
They live on Custom House Lane, close to Fleetwood Market, and during market days on Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays, visitors to the attraction make a beeline for parking spaces on the street, instead of using the paid-for public car park just across the road.
It means that one resident, funeral director Jason Dell, often has his drive blocked, so he can't get out and sometimes has to ask Fleetwood Market to tannoy car owners to move their vehicles.
A few doors down, disabled couple Mike Bowyer and Diane Cowdell are so worried about going out in their car and finding their space blocked upon their return, that they often don't leave the house on market days and have received abuse when they challenge the car owners.
The residents from the 11 houses on the street have tried to obtain residential parking permits from Lancashire County Council but have been told they are not eligible.
Mike, 59, a former chef, said: "Diane has multiple sclerosis and degenerative disc disorder and I had to have ankle fusion treatment after a motorcycle accident years back.
"On market days, if we go out in the car, you can guarantee that when we get back home later, someone will have parked in front of our house and every parking space on the street is filled up.
"We've had to park around the corner and we both then struggle to walk back to our house - Diane especially has been in agony.
"We tried putting cones in front of our house and we also put polite signs up letting people know we are disabled.
"But they just move the cones and we've been sworn at and threatened."
The couple tried to get a disabled parking bay set up in front of their house, but at the time Diane's MS was not so severe and they were unable to qualify.
Mike added: "We just want to be be able to park outside our home and all the residents feel the same way - that's why we set up the petition."
Their neighbour Jason said: "I always worry that one of these days I wont be able to get to a funeral.
"I shouldn't have to keep approaching the market to get someone to move their car."
The petition has been forwarded to Lancashire County Council.
The County Council says the residents are not eligible for parking permits because there is a car park directly opposite and because there are only 11 houses on the street.
As things stand, visitors to the market and market traders are legally entitled to park anywhere on the street.
But Mike added: "Why should residents here have to use a car park and pay when we are in our own homes, as the county council suggests? We shouldn't have to do that - it should be visitors who use the car park."
The residents are being supported by Fleetwood MP Cat Smith, Wyre councillor Colette Fairbanks and even market manager Julian Brent.
Julian said: "I have asked our market traders not to park on the street and in fairness, most of them have conformed, but I can't force anyone.
"It is mainly customers who do it and unfortunately people will always go for free parking. I feel for the residents here and we as a market have tried to support them as much as I can."
Coun Fairbanks said: "It's terrible that disabled people dread it every time it's market day.
"I think the County Council is being pedantic."
And Ms Smith, the Labour MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, said:" Having met with local residents and seen for myself the problems they are experiencing, I’m disappointed Lancashire County Council has been unable to offer a solution to the parking issues.
"While LCC seems to have shut down the possibility of resident parking being considered at all, my understanding is that Wyre Council did make consideration for resident parking as part of the ‘pocket park’ plan. With this in mind, I’ll be raising this matter with Wyre Council and encouraging them to engage with LCC to find a parking solution that meets everyone’s needs.”
Lancashire County Council has been approached for a comment but has so far not responded.