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."