Planters installed to discourage parking on the pavement

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The Town Council has installed floral planters have been installed on the pavement at the bottom of Cliff Road in an attempt to discourage parking on the pavement, that on sunny days prevents the safe use by pedestrians and in particular wheelchair and pushchair users.

Wilmslow Town Council decided to take action because, whilst this problem started sometime ago, the regularity of such obstructive parking has increased, especially now the weather has improved.

Town Clerk Matthew Jackson explained "The Town Council has very little power to act with regards to this problem with Cheshire East Council being responsible for the enforcement of the double yellow lines that relate to parking on the pavement as well as the road and the Police having powers to act if they can demonstrate obstruction. Any permanent structure on the highway, including bollards and railings can only be installed by the highway authority which in our case is Cheshire East Council.

"The Town Council has used its powers to provide pavement planters in the town since it was formed in 2011 and we would normally chose to place them in locations that provide the greatest floral impact, selecting sites with good viability and in full sun, however we are aware of alternative uses and introduced four planters on Chancel Lane last year with the specific purpose of discouraging parking on the Memorial Garden that was being used as an overflow car park by users of the Carrs Park."

At the weekend the Cheshire East Council Parking Enforcement Officer was faced with 14 cars parked on the pavement along Cliff Road and we have been advised by the officer that enforcement action was taken, however whilst this involved to issuing of fines it did not result in the clearing of the pavement for full pedestrian use.

Matthew Jackson added "As part of a recent parking review carried out by Cheshire East Council, the Town Council was supportive of the idea of bollards being installed on the pavement to prevent access to the pavement and therefore the need for enforcement action by either Cheshire East Council or the Police and we hope that this permanent solution will be pursued by Cheshire East Council.

"The action of the Town Council to move the planters previously protecting the Memorial Garden to Cliff Road we hope is a temporary solution, not least because they are in permanent shade, and we hope that by preventing the initial cars from parking on the wide pavement at the bottom of the hill that it will reduce the likelihood of copycat parking further up the road. The Memorial Garden has been secured for now with the introduction of additional wooden posts.

"With the summer only just starting and the Carrs Park appearing to be more popular than ever to a regional audience there is no guarantee that our temporary solution will be effective nor that the displaced vehicles won't be parked inappropriately elsewhere. The long term solution to this problem will be the ongoing enforcement of parking restrictions and installation of permanent highway barriers by Cheshire East Council and the ongoing support of the police. Should the Town Council feel that further direct action is required within the scope of its powers then it will consider what this should be once the impact of the latest actions have been accessed."

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Comments

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

Wayne Jaffe
Friday 4th June 2021 at 8:39 pm
Finally some positive action has been taken. Well done Matthew Jackson, let's hope it works until a permanent solution is found.
David Hoyle
Saturday 5th June 2021 at 8:40 am
Do the planters cover all of the footpath or just the footpath at the bottom of the road.
Nik Eastwood
Saturday 5th June 2021 at 5:28 pm
@DH I think its just the wide part of the footpath, I can foresee cars being parked between them though as the gaps look too big, if its a car sized gap you can bet they will get through it.
Jon Williams
Sunday 6th June 2021 at 6:23 am
Yesterday they just parked on the footpath higher up !
Diana Jennings
Sunday 6th June 2021 at 6:38 am
Didn't work, they just parked higher up!
David Smith
Monday 7th June 2021 at 10:03 am
A WASTE OF MONEY!
They are not needed.
The legal authority of double yellow lines extends both sides of the lines.
In this case it extends across the pavement as far as a boundary with private land.
This means that all vehicles that wholly or partially extend beyond the double yellow lines over the pavement can be 'booked' by the police/traffic wardens.
What is required is a will and determination to have someone down there when vehicles are illegally parked and do the 'booking'. That's where the problem lies - not with the selfish idiots who think they can park where they like and sod the rest of us. It also rests with the Muppets who run our lives around here and can't seem to get to grips with a simple problem like this.
For a better solution I would suggest removal of the vehicles and a large fee for release to the owner. This fee will include the cost of man and vehicle power to remove it, plus storage and of course the subsequent normal fine.
The planters on the other side of the road near to the church were placed with large gaps between them, which didn’t prevent cars being parked on the grass - the original intent of putting them there. They were also placed on the pavement surface instead of ON the grass. This REDUCED the width of available pavement, which doesn't sound like a particularly brainy or sensible idea to me. So, another example of 'Muppetry' by those who run our lives around here.
Want another example?
* The regular use of the A34 bypass by boy racers in their expensive cars that have had the exhausts modified to emit more decibels than standard and probably at an illegal decibel level purely for the fun of it. This racket can be heard over much of Wilmslow and isn’t what many residents find acceptable but apparently not enough of us have objected, so the Muppets [councillors, council, police & MP perhaps?] are doing nothing. Councillor Craig Browne has moved them out of Alderley Edge - where he lives - but as Deputy Leader of Cheshire East council with responsibility for the whole of Cheshire East, which includes Wilmslow, doesn’t appear to be doing anything.
Fiona Doorbar
Wednesday 9th June 2021 at 7:03 am
Craig Browne has most definitely not moved the car issue out of Alderley Edge David!
I have no idea where you get that belief from.
Stuart Redgard
Wednesday 9th June 2021 at 11:33 am
David Smith

You are entitled to your opinion and to share it, and this post isn't meant to belittle it in any way. It’s just that I don't seem to see things as you do and I want to share my own perspective.

You say: ‘This means that all vehicles that wholly or partially extend beyond the double yellow lines over the pavement can be 'booked' by the police/traffic wardens’

This isn’t actually correct for two reasons. Firstly, there are no such thing as traffic wardens in Cheshire East. I assume you mean Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO). Secondly, vehicles correctly displaying a disabled parking permit (Blue Badge) can lawfully park on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours (See ww.gov.uk).

On spring bank holiday Monday (31st May 20021) I personally observed ten cars parked in this location. Six had been issued with a penalty charge notice by a CEO but four had not. This is because they were correctly displaying blue badges. The fact that they were all obstructing the highway (pavement) and forcing pedestrians to have to walk on the road was something the CEO could do nothing about. Only the police could have lawfully dealt with this type of obstruction of the highway. The law allows the police to take one of the following actions with regards this type of obstruction of the highway.

a) take no action
b) issue either verbal or written advise
c) Issue a Fixed Penalty Notice
d) Arrange to have the obstruction removed

It would appear that on this occasion the police were either not aware of the obstructions; did not have the resources available to deal with the them; chose to take no action.

You say: ‘What is required is a will and determination to have someone down there when vehicles are illegally parked and do the 'booking'. That's where the problem lies – not with the selfish idiots who think they can park where they like and sod the rest of us.’

If ‘the selfish idiots who think they can park where they like’ actually obeyed the law then there would not be a problem. So the problem lies clearly with ‘the selfish idiots’ and not with the enforcing authorities.

You say: ‘For a better solution I would suggest removal of the vehicles and a large fee for release to the owner.’

For this to be a practical solution, then the enforcement authorities would need to have the resources available and immediately to hand. The enforcement authorities are the police and the local highways authority (council). As neither of them have the resources available and immediately to hand then this is not a practical solution.

You say it’s ‘a simple problem’. I do not agree. If it were then the “problem” would have been solved by now. The problem is that people break the law. Either deliberately or unknowingly.
John Harries
Thursday 10th June 2021 at 10:54 am
David Smith+Stuart Rudgard - somewhere between the two viewpoints lies the solution(s).
Well done the Town council in taking some action (despite this specific issue has now been bubbling around at least TWO YEARS); it probably is a waste of money - a minor deterrant - but at least the planters (and pretty content) can be used elsewhere around the area.
The Carrs makes us victims of our own wonderful natural resources offering a free attraction to a wide (often highly urban audience) that perhaps do not value (nor respect or appreciate) what is on offer.
Enforcement will stop much of the problem in hand. Step 1, PCO's/the constabulary can just issue tickets and blitz the area especially when it's busy (no idea what the fixed penalty charge is...?) but whatever IMHO it's not enough! No warnings necessary so why not go to step 2, towing is ordered by the police and as far as CCC is concerned in our leafy part of CE, sub-contracted to specialist services so resources are available (it's a business decision really) and the likes of locals Egertons will queue up for the opportunity - maybe the new signs about illegal parking can be amended to state what the costs will be if you do transgress (amazing how attitudes change when the probable £££'s charges hit you in the eyes) and seeing it happen to others demonstrates the locals are seriousness.
Take a leaf out of Handforth Dean's playbook - a CCC 'Q' car strategically parked adjacent to the Parish Hall in the official car park will deter many casual footpath hoggers particularly if a patrolling PCO (or even a real live bobby) is evident taking an interest every now and then.

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