Barlow's Beef: No sign of any action on dangerous parking


Any idea what the above sign means?

Evenings around 5:30pm I drive along Hawthorn Street only to find a couple of vehicles illegally parked outside the take away reducing the road to single lane traffic.

I've been travelling this route for several years and Hawthorn Street is always blocked at the same point. Given that Wilmslow police station is less than a couple of hundred meters away one would have thought they might show some interest.

It's not as though Cheshire Police need someone to report it. Their officers must drive through the same obstruction a dozen times a day.

Cheshire East Council, who are responsible for general parking infringements, care not one jot. Let's see what happens when their negligence is blamed for an accident that is clearly 'waiting to happen.'

Whilst the authorities love to cite 'safety' when introducing speed cameras and traffic wardens they show no interest in more remote danger spots that produce very little revenue.

Observe the current number of restrictions and contra-flows due to unmanned road works. These obstructions clearly represent a 'safety' issue but managing contractors to prompt completion of work is just too time consuming with no financial pay-off whatsoever.

Whilst we are on the subject ask Cheshire Police how many cyclists have been prosecuted for failing to stop at a red light (a highly dangerous but common manoeuvre).

You won't need a calculator to arrive at the total. Why?

Cyclists are more difficult to prosecute so police can't be bothered. It may save lives but it won't raise any significant revenue.

All that talk about installing 'safety' cameras to prevent accidents was hot air. They are there primarily to raise revenue with the least expenditure.

Take a look at some of rural Cheshire's really dangerous country roads. If they don't have enough traffic to improve cash flow cameras will not be installed.

For those of us who run the gauntlet of the rush-hour contra flow on Hawthorn Street it's just a matter of time before a serious accident occurs. With Wilmslow police station so close and CEC's publicly funded army of traffic wardens available the tabloids will have a field day.

I wonder how they will find out?

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of

Barlows Beef, Vic Barlow


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Rehana Hindle
Tuesday 21st July 2015 at 8:10 am
Well done for raising this, I always think the same, why is it that the print shop and takeaway has usually two cars parked outside all day
Rush hour accident waiting to happen!
Rob Grundy
Tuesday 21st July 2015 at 9:02 am
It's a fine line. Obstructive parking has the benefit of slowing traffic down. I moved here around a year ago from Bolton, in Bolton the traffic wardens, cameras, mobile cameras are rife. The effect? Bolton town centre is knackered. People choose to shop at the Trafford Centre instead and who can blame them? They can park, there are lots of shops that aren't cash converters or charity shops, no aggressive chuggers! Sure, Wilmslow is pretty bad for parking, but it at least has a busy and vibrant town centre. The roads are narrow and congested as nobody seems prepared to walk anywhere, but I'd resist too heavy handed parking enforcement on the grounds that it is better than killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
Vic Barlow
Tuesday 21st July 2015 at 12:10 pm
Hi Rob
I do understand the point you make about town centres. Once traffic is totally banned it does appear to kill-off trade.
What I'm referring to here is a spot on a busy road with a sensible rush-hour only restriction that is continuously ignored without penalty.

Hence a dangerous ad-hoc contraflow is created.
Adam Bower
Tuesday 21st July 2015 at 12:55 pm
We have traded as a Removal firm from Hawthorn Street (actually opposite that sign) since 1947 and the parking opposite our driveway is a major issue. On a regular basis we struggle to access our site due to a lack of double yellow lines opposite the yard. It creates a hiatus every rush hour with drivers mounting the kerb whether or not pedestrians are on it- extremely dangerous regardless of the fact that the street has a children's nursery and old peoples home on it.
James MacDonald
Tuesday 21st July 2015 at 1:55 pm
James' beef. Yet again another article about parking turns into cyclist bashing. There are some cyclists that drive through red lights which is dangerous for themselves. There are some drivers that drive through red lights which is dangerous for themselves and others. These drivers are rarely prosecuted. How many drivers use a mobile device whilst driving or in a queue of traffic? More than any other offence I would suspect yet with the threat of 3 penalty points and a fine they don't care. Next time you write an article try and stick to the topic, facts and balanced views.
Vic Barlow
Tuesday 21st July 2015 at 3:30 pm
No 'bashing' intended. Just an observation.
Yes of course there are plenty of dangerous drivers but all road users should observe a stop light.
It's obvious certain cyclists believe it does not apply to them.
Oh by the way I am a cyclist but to be honest not a very good one.
Rick Andrews
Tuesday 21st July 2015 at 9:31 pm
I am also a cyclist and agree with Vic, the comments from James are valid but to say that this is cyclist bashing is missing the point, the real problem is the fact that the majority of infringements by motorists and cyclists are not observed and enforced by East Cheshire's wardens or the Cheshire police. To add to the discussion, it is about time that drivers who park on pavements are properly penalised - it is an offence to drive or park on the pavement but it has become a habit for many - take a look at Kings Road and Summerfields. Maybe our town and EC councillors can take some action???? Or maybe not usual.
Barry Stafford
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 12:20 pm
Vic. is spot on about Hawthorn St. a true rat-run. but the parking is actually an old BMW at the Barbers. its there 5/6 days a week.I walk this stretch often and was almost hit by a boy racer,who wouldn't wait.Came up the pavement ,fortunately I had a gap in the hedge to the houses.Otherwise ,this was the accident waiting to happen.This week alone I saw a guy in a black Range Rover. taking a cig. out of the packet,no hands on the wheel,racing through and overtaking the said BMW which is parked all day on a yellow line. It is also becoming difficult opposite the Police station with vans stopping at the sandwich shop and parking up the pavements.I agrre that this stretch is perfect for double yellow lines. Vic. can you ask Ches.East Highways on this???
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 7:23 pm
What can the Police do? They have nothing to do with parking infringements. That is a Local Authority issue.
Kate Ravenscroft
Thursday 23rd July 2015 at 8:21 am
I live on Hawthorn St, just a few doors up from the Chinese, barbers and print shop. I have parking at the rear of the property.
The parking on this street, which goes completely unregulated, is a real problem. Access and vision are compromised and at times there can be 5 or 6 cars parked in a line making progress in either direction a real issue.
This problem is real cause of 'road rage' at this point with frequent car horn sounding battles when drivers think they have right of way. I've even seen 'face offs' between drivers who won't budge and swearing matches between drivers. Despite the very close police presence nothing is done and aggressive and fast drivers create the real potential for a serious accident.
Pete Taylor
Sunday 26th July 2015 at 12:51 pm
Surely a case for Cllr. Menlove's ever-ready can of yellow paint?
Birgitta Hoffmann
Monday 27th July 2015 at 1:03 pm
Pete, I wish the yellow paint would have any effect what so ever. If I remember rightly as many of the points on Hawthorn Street mentioned so far there is already Yellow paint on the street, just to be ignored...not that that is anything new in Wilmslow. It has to be said the situation is getting really worrying. I often walk (yes, that does still happen) along Hawthorn Lane to get to the Old people's homes and the parked cars have long since driven the cyclists onto the pavement (in one observed case on the advice of a Comunity Police officer). As the hedges are quite overhanging, that then forces the pedestrians (with or without buggies or walking stick) then into the road, as you can't even safely pass each other. The place is a traffic mess and I am not surprised to hear about the near miss.

And BTW the police is still entitled to do something about parking and dangerous driving, they just have to have the time and inclination (as they occassionally do around the Water Lane traffic lights). Perhaps these articles may be the motivation to look down the road and do something, rather than try and outflank the problem by going through the backlane, themselves?
Oliver Romain
Tuesday 28th July 2015 at 12:58 pm
I used to use Hawthorn Street when picking up my son from Pepperberries Day Nursery.
I never looked forward to doing on on foot at rush hour. Lots of aggressive angry speedy driving, narrow pavements...simply awful.
It needs proper parking control, and traffic calming measures similar to those on Hawthorn Lane but this should include the provision of short stay day time parking for the shops.
Debi Evans
Thursday 6th August 2015 at 11:50 am
I live on the Terrace next to the shops on Hawthorn Street and walk to work and back twice a day. I find it so stressful trying to cross this busy road, due to the frequent cars illegally parked during the rush hour outside the shops (the BMW by the way is displaying a Disabled Badge, so strictly speaking is allowed to park there!) and the complete lack of compassion by the drivers, who are so busy trying to out run the cars coming towards them, that they completely disregard pedestrians trying to cross and even mount the kerb in their efforts to "get one over" their fellow drivers! Then there is the little matter of trying to walk up Hawthorn Street towards Water Lane, whilst running the gauntlet of all the parked cars whose owners are beyond selfish, seeming to think that parking their car on the pavement keeps it safer, whilst us pedestrians take our life in our hands, being forced to walk on the road and into oncoming and fast moving traffic! The police are useless and even when I have flagged an officer down and demanded that they do something about a vehicle that is parked fully on the pavement, they have done nothing!! Hawthorn Street is an accident waiting to happen and unfortunately, given how many times a day/week I have to walk it, I am quite concerned that it could be me! Rant over!
Stuart Redgard
Friday 7th August 2015 at 11:30 pm
Just to clarify a few points.

The police will not enforce parking on yellow lines. Why not. Because it is no longer a criminal offence and they no longer have the powers to do so. It is now a civil offence enforced by Cheshire East Council. Why is it not enforced by CEC. It is, but inadequately and not all of the time when the restrictions are in place. It is my understanding that the Civil Enforcement officers in Wilmslow clock off at 5:00pm but as the photograph above clearly shows the restrictions last until 6:30pm !!!!

There is no offence of "parking on" or "driving on" the pavement.

What the law says is :

You "MUST NOT drive on or over a pavement, footpath or bridleway except to gain lawful access to property, or in the case of an emergency."

However, Cheshire Constabulary Police Officers tend to use their "discretion" on the enforcement of this law, which they are entitled to do.

It is an offence to "Obstruct the Highway" but again Cheshire Constabulary Police Officers tend to use their "discretion" on the enforcement of this law.

Oh and a little suggestion in passing. If you ever come across a vehicle parked on a double yellow and obstructing the highway (pavement) I would suggest you do not approach the driver and ask them if they were aware of the offences they were committing. If they say yes , then I would also suggest you don't ask them for permission to walk over the vehicle after they have declined to move it. They might just say yes, at least three times and then later tell a different story. Something possibly like this might just then happen.
Nik Eastwood
Thursday 15th October 2015 at 7:00 pm
as an occasional user of that road during the daytime it has wound me up for years the parking of the cars outside the barbers, if any road in wilmslow should have double yellows and enforced [they would make money I am sure!] then it should be this one.

in fact perhaps this road due it being narrow and a fair amount of traffic using it then it might benefit from double red lines like they have in some city centre streets, but then after me thinking about that comment that wont help a shop such as the takeaway in the evening, anyway, rant over it needs to be clear in the daytime and in peak times.