Solution needed to 'perennial problem'

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With the warm weather approaching concerns have been raised about the return of a reoccurring problem at the town park.

Last summer Wilmslow Town Council installed floral planters 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.

They decided to take action because, whilst this problem started sometime ago, the regularity of such obstructive parking increased during the past two summers.

However, the planters were subsequently removed and relocated due to them repeated vandalism.

Councillor Don Stockton said "It was a long fight to get anything done, at all, on Cliff Road by Cheshire East Cheshire.

"We were offered (permanent ?) red and white water filled plastic bollards, as reference was always made to potential service disruption, expense and safety hazards, if concrete posts were installed.

"Fortunately, WTC got planters put in place, which in my view, was a great solution. Unfortunately, person or persons unknown took it upon themselves to tip the planters over, time after time, on their way home from Wilmslow during the night ! Because of the difficulty of righting and replanting each time they were turned over, WTC reluctantly removed them.

"We currently await the outcome of the CEC consultation on the proposed cycle lane and one way system on Cliff Road. This may prevent this perennial problem IF implemented along with greater parking enforcement from CEC."

Matthew Jackson, Town Clerk, said "In addition to Don's points I would add that the persistent attacks on the planters and the reduced parking demand in the Autumn led to their movement at that time. They are currently in the town centre in full su, enhancing the environment and not being routinely attacked.

"The problem parking in this area has been far worse over the last two summers than it ever was in the prior to that, due no doubt to the Covid lockdowns and the popularity of the Carrs as a regional attraction at that time. We do not know if the more relaxed Covid situation in summer 2022 will mean that we go back to previous visitor numbers or if the particularly high visitor numbers continue."

He added "The Town Council will monitor closely the situation over the coming 4-6 weeks, if the pavement is being blocked to the extent that pedestrians, pushchair users or wheelchair users are needing to go into the road and if the statutory authorities, responsible for parking enforcement and obstruction, are not taking action then the Town Council will consider reintroducing the planters to Cliff Road when they are replanted for the summer months.

"Along with Don I would hope that if the cycle lane proposal for Cliff Road is taken forward by CEC, that the design of this may bring about a permanent solution."

Photo taken Friday, 15th April.

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Comments

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

Jon Newell
Thursday 21st April 2022 at 4:09 pm
It is remarkable that this photograph , which has been obscured the number plate so as to comply with the law, can not be used as the basis of a prosecution for parking violations.
I know that this is the law and that the enforcement authorities can not over rule it.
I hope that whoever is parked in this picture accepts that the vast majority of our local residents deplore their actions.
Just because you get away with it does not make it right.
Maureen Marner
Thursday 21st April 2022 at 5:56 pm
With reference to the planters. Can they be screwed from the bottom onto the paving.?
If concrete posts were installed, can they be cemented into the paving, surely either would be a deterrent.
It's no good monitoring the situation, you know its going to happen. To make it one way would it help? As long as the traffic is coming down the cliff.
It needs a solution, quickly, increase the fines. Wilmslow residents with cars can afford the petty fines at the moment.
Save lives, before someone is killed!!!!
Rob Atkinson
Thursday 21st April 2022 at 6:01 pm
How short-sighted. The parking issue has been an issue for a long time, and it was exacerbated by COVID. Perhaps the problem is a lack of parking. Without wanting to overbuild etc., surely an extra 20 or 30 spaces would solve the problem. The cost (albeit inconceivably high due to council horrendously poor value-for-money, cost be gradually clawed back by modest parking fees. This is an area for the people, make it available.

The pavement parking is not good. Put sympathetic, sturdy metal restrictions in place.

How much upset and cost does it take to reach an obvious solution. Welcome to some public sector decisions - meetings about meetings about meetings. No actions, expenses galore.
Tony Chester
Friday 22nd April 2022 at 9:14 am
There is a simple solution to this...either screw the planters to the floor so they can't be pushed over, or erect a more permanent fixture, like a metal fence/bollards/ railings. Please don't tell us that you have no money for this, how much does saving a life of a person being hit by a car, because they are forced to walk on the road actually cost?? Other than that, the offending cars should be towed away, that should deter people from parking on the footpath.
Howard Piltz
Wednesday 27th April 2022 at 2:58 pm
Once again the subject of parking in Wilmslow rears it’s ugly head and Cheshire East Council are talking about ‘consultations’ again and again. I have long advocated reverting to a modern Wilmslow Urban District Council when local decisions would be taken by local people. Until then it will be ‘the same old’ long after I’m 6ft under.
Robert Taylor
Wednesday 27th April 2022 at 4:49 pm
It is clear to me that the solution to the perennial problem is just to enforce parking controls. In this case CEC enforcement officers to ticket and to keep doing so - a very simple solution which generates income for the council.

Any other alternatives are just a waste of time.
Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 27th April 2022 at 6:04 pm
Solutions were given but ignored, it seems people who make these decisions cant foresee the problems. The planters would still work with a small variation, and we can also provide stealth CCTV. To clearly establish the culprits, no electric required. Always a solution just have to ask the right people, and stop wasting money on the wrong ones.
Marcia McGrail
Wednesday 27th April 2022 at 9:08 pm
Does the common sense solution stare the good burghers of Wilmslow squarely in the face? Does it behove the decision makers to delay such common sense since trousering expenses is a longer term strategy? Who knows?
Baffled, Wilmslow apologist.
John Harries
Thursday 28th April 2022 at 10:36 am
I commend followers of this subject (and yes, it is apparently perennial and SO difficult to resolve!) search here for the plans these same bunch of navel gazers are proposing (and seeking the Wilmslow public to comment on - so get commenting why don't you...) for another Wilmslow heritage site - Little Lindow (on the junction/corner of Altrincham Road and Hawthorne Street). Why is it so necessary to apparently offer fairground like entertainment in so few remaining public green spaces, 'we' are not a holiday resort nor do 'we' need to attract (distract..) tourists - they will come of their own accord anyway for the other delights that Wilmslow/environs has to offer.
These are local (historically, our local municipal facilities) and in general anyone local can access them by foot - they are for exercise, fresh air, relaxation and enjoying what's left of urbanised nature - so absolutely no need to offer substantial parking for vehicles (other than those for perhaps the aged, infirm and special needs) and refreshments. By all means provide 'modest playground' facilities for very young children but it should not dominate the original intent and meaning of our under-fire green spaces, there are so few of them.
Towing, clamping (clamping in particular because it causes immediate pain to the transgressor) and ticketing will soon put a stop to illegal parking (and now vandalism) on roadside/verges, it's proven to work in lots of instances throughout the country - it just needs the police/PCSO's or even ethical private contractors to CEC/WTC getting their respective acts together.

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