Rise in illegal and anti-social parking during lockdown

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Cheshire East Council is urging motorists to park legally and considerately – after seeing a rise in illegal and irresponsible parking during the latest lockdown.

Parking chiefs say the problem is on the rise across the whole borough and not just at 'the usual hotspots' in town centres and at visitor attractions.

Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and waste, said: "Our highways and parking officers are finding increasing numbers of motorists parked illegally on our roads and streets, preventing the free-flow of traffic along the highway.

"There is also a real concern that access by emergency services vehicles is being inhibited and even prevented – putting people's lives at risk.

"This is not just happening in the usual hotspots, such as town centres and visitor attractions, but increasingly across the whole borough. It is simply unacceptable.

"Inconsiderate and irresponsible parking is causing difficulties for residents, pedestrians, people with disabilities or with prams, and other road users, as well as businesses and our emergency services. Some people have complained of finding their driveways blocked, leaving them unable to get in or out of their own home.

"Lockdown does not mean people have a licence to park illegally or irresponsibly – and I would urge people to stick to the rules, show consideration for others and help our emergency services to do their fantastic and critically important work unhindered."

Cheshire East Council is to carry out a review of parking policies in the coming months as part of its new local transport plan. The issue of motorists parking on pavements is the subject of a review by central government, which could change the way this problem is tackled.

Anyone convicted of parking illegally faces a fine of up to £70. To report illegal parking contact our parking enforcement team on: [email protected] or call 0300 123 5020.

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Comments

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

Howard Piltz
Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 11:19 am
Tragically motorists in Wilmslow will never learn to park considerately until the Council and Police set-about them with tow trucks. Surely that is a lesson that any idiot should have figured-out years ago.
Mark Russell
Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 11:25 am
Yet another parking review ? How much of our money do these councillors need to waste before they admit it’s out of hand because of zero enforcement. Use the money to employ more enforcement officers (or whatever they are called this week) and enforce the current rules. Another fiasco our useless councillors have done nothing but put press releases out over the last ten years.
Kathryn Blackburn
Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 11:34 am
And you would think with so many idiots past and present among our dear
leaders ........ but no not figured.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 1:09 pm
A Local Transport Plan Review is a Statutory Requirement from Westminster Government, it has to be carried out every five years.
Barry Buxton
Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 2:53 pm
Where are these deplorables coming from?! Lockdown means no journeys from home unless ESSENTIAL.
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 3:37 pm
A sudden recent surge in all day parking at Lindow Common during the week. Parking often full.
Makes for a difficult daily start for socialising and training our puppy for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
Increases the time needed for her to be ready to be placed with a recipient - often a child. (Did you see the Rickshaw Challenge? Sarah cycling and Waffle by her side).
Alternate venues aren’t as suitable. The law of unexpected consequences?
Mark Goldsmith
Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 3:55 pm
The parking review mentioned is to see if car parking charges can be standardised across the borough. Currently Wilmslow and Nantwich pay the highest charges, while Sandbach has free car parking. The review is to see if this discrepancy can be made fairer.

The ornamental planters for the memorial gardens to stop illegal parking there are due to arrive this week. The problem is largely caused by occasional visitors to the Carrs. Fining them or towing them away doesn’t help much because the next day, more new people arrive and the same problem happens. Parking wardens now regularly patrol this area and do issue tickets. But this is acting after the problem has occurred. Therefore, these planters should stop the problem from happening and prevention is always better than a cure.

Other parking problems in the town have considerably reduced this year though. Mainly because office occupancy is around 40% of previous levels with their staff working from home. Footfall in the town centre was down -23% in September vs last year too. Good news for the parking problem, but bad news for the economic sustainability of our retailers and restaurants. Therefore, I hope the Town Council will become more active in helping improve footfall in 2021. I have proposed some ideas for this but unfortunately they were rejected by the Conservative councillors who run the town council. They are slowly coming round to the idea though and I will keep pushing. This week we all agreed to a new Christmas initiative from RoW councillors. More details on it next month though as the implementation timing will depend on the lockdown situation.

With a vaccine now in sight, we are aware that the towns parking problems are likely to return though. Therefore, work is starting on outline plans for a bigger car park on Broadway. This involves the size it should be, planning considerations, highways implications, cost, how to fund it and timescales. We are also liaising with the developers of the proposed hotel above Tesco’s as if this goes ahead they will fund an increase to the car parks size.

Finally, work on the new cycle and walking lane from Wilmslow to Alderley Edge will start in January. We have also just received notice that the Department for Transport will fund a similar scheme linking Wilmslow and Handforth train stations too. Consultation on this plan is likely to go out to residents in the New Year for completion next summer.

So, after 10 years of doing nothing, it has taken your new independent councillors 18 months to get Cheshire East investing in Wilmslow again. Other plans are in the pipeline too and we hope to announce them next year.


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Cheshire East & Wilmslow Town Council
Howard Piltz
Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 3:56 pm
In response to Pete Taylor’s comment: there is sufficient powers under current plans/regulations/laws for Council traffic wardens and the police to deal with bad parking. It just needs them to get out and ENFORCE it.
Raymond James Wallace
Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 5:38 pm
As long as you have to pay in car parks, and you can park on the road for free, you don’t have to be Steven Hawkings to figure out the outcome. Make car parks either free or a token charge say £1 or £2 a day, but the alternative is yellow lines on main roads to keep traffic flowing and no obstruction for emergency vehicles. Something has to give as parking on roads and pavements are a danger to children and mothers with prams and toddlers. No doubt money will win the day.
Marcia McGrail
Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 8:50 pm
When did urging people to follow the rules ever work? Those that will, already do. Those that won't, already don't and enforcement is sadly the only tactic that penetrates. Even then, they will blame somebody else.
John Harries
Wednesday 18th November 2020 at 11:35 pm
As it's apparently silly season, here's one idea that many of our more progressive 'oh good, that means more jobs and people coming to spend money in the town' contributors who will no doubt lend their full support to.
How's about fast tracking blanket planning for more of those delightful green belt properties (plus a few more care homes - forget 'affordable housing' because that phrase means absolutely zilch in this area anyway) to be built in-filling The Carrs [affering lovely views of the Bollin Valley...], the Common (who needs a lake in the middle of Cheshire's version of Milton Keynes) and the whole of the Bog (why not devalue the 14 eco friendly luxury homes now blackmailed out of hapless CEC) and what's left of Morley (just to deprive Greater Manchester from turning it into a mega annex to the new Chinese business enterprise zone) then there won't be anywhere for expanded/additional car parks or little nooks and crannies in which to illegally park, job done and CEC can then concentrate on spending all the extra rates revenue on flood management and imaginative office space conversions into bed sits (with basement swimming pools or community gyms) since they'll be deprived of parking spaces because they can all walk to work.
Terry Roeves
Thursday 19th November 2020 at 6:26 pm
Excellent information from Cllr Mark Goldsmith. Keeping our paws crossed!
A big Woof from Lady, Hearing Dog pup in training.

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