The Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire was in Wilmslow today (Thursday, 22nd November) to see for himself the scale of the problem caused by vehicles parking on Alderley Road.
David Keane was joined by Councillor Rod Menlove, Angela McPake Vice-Chair of Wilmslow Town Council, local resident and retired magistrate John Morley and Assistant Practice Managers at Kenmore Medical Centre Cathy Starkey and Fiona McDermott.
Rod Menlove said "I know that to David, road safety is a priority and so invited him to visit Wilmslow to see first hand the problems caused by obstructive and dangerous parking in Alderley Road and by the lack of police enforcement. This is not a criticism of the local police who have to follow a restricted definition of obstruction and danger. As our elected representative we hoped that David could use independent influence to further our case for more action on these matters."
David Keane assured the local councillors that road safety is one of the priorities in the Police and Crime Plan and he would be contacting the Acting Chief Executive at Cheshire East Council regarding this particular issue.
He said "I want to support the local community so I will be writing to Kath O'Dwyer (Acting Chief Executive at Cheshire East Council) to give my views on the situation and I will speak the local Chief Inspector to see what police resource we have to help deal with it as a local priority.
David added "What I'd like to do is seek some real guidance on the extent of the powers that can apply to the problem. Daily enforcement is never the way to solve the problem but it's a way of helping to get double yellow lines, which has got to be the solution."
Speaking about the parking Fiona McDermott of Kenmore Medical Centre, said "It causes havoc at varies times of the day, particularly at rush hour. We've seen various minor incidents and one lady was knocked over when she tried to cross the road between parked cars. We've also seen road rage.
"Our patients are not very happy, especially those having trouble getting out. It is very frustrating for the elderly."
Local resident John Morley said "There wasn't a problem until the builders of Chapelwood came along and started parking there and everyone else has thought if they can park there we can park there. Essentially it has turned into a car park for people going to the station.
"I have lived here 27 years and never known a subject attract so much interest."
David Keane committed to returning to Wilmslow within the month, saying "I want to get out with the local PCSOs and Community Sergeant and actively look at the problem so I have confidence they are using their powers properly and we all understand what's in those powers and what's not."
Esther McVey said "I asked Cheshire East in the Spring to treat the parking issue on Alderley Road as one of safety, to allow it be to addressed ahead of the parking review in Wilmslow. Although they declined to do that, I am pleased that David Keane has agreed with my view and I am hopeful we can now get both a short and long term solution for the issue as a matter of priority."
Rod Menlove concluded "We very much appreciated David taking time to visit Wilmslow and to join in the discussion and consider our concerns. We are hopeful that the actions he is going to undertake will generate steps in the right direction."