What effect does parking have on road safety?
Children and elderly pedestrians are placed at risk crossing roads from between high sided parked vehicles. The disabled and parents with prams are blocked from using pavement ramps. All pedestrians, cyclists and drivers suffer when bad parking behaviour causes obstructions and poor visibility. Bus drivers struggle to complete turning movements. If the situation stays as it is, there could be a tragedy because an ambulance or fire engine can't get as close as it should to an emergency.
Our opinion poll suggests that these sorts of safety issues are seen as a major problem by most local residents. They concern most residents far more than the simple inconvenience of not being able to park near their own homes. During street canvassing, quite a lot of residents of blocks of flats that have their own private parking spaces said that they would still support the campaign because of the deterioration in road and personal safety that poor parking was causing in the area. Sadly, there have been a number of casualty accidents indicating that safety concerns are not just perceptual.
The Council has recently tried to address some of these problems by adding new double yellow lines to the 'pinch points' and median cross-overs on Surrenden Road itself. Whilst this is a start in safety terms, it has also reduced the supply of parking spaces in the area as a whole and will drive even more pressure into side streets like Bavant Road or Harrington Villas.
We say that the only real solution will be one that enables local residents to access the local parking supply and restricts access to it for people who do not need to park here.