- Meeting of Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Monday, 26th September 2011 6.00 pm (Item 18.)
- View the background to item 18.
A report by the Director of Technical Services advised the Committee of the current situation regarding pavement/verge parking in Wirral and provided an update on the progress of the introduction of the second phase of the pilot scheme restrictions. The report also contained the outcome of discussions with Merseyside Police and Pedestrian Forums on proposals to deal with pavement obstruction caused by inconsiderate parking.
At a meeting of this Committee on 18 November 2009 (Minute No. 31 refers), Members had been advised that the roads approved for the introduction of pilot restrictions had been divided into three manageable phases for legal and administrative purposes. The first phase had been introduced in December 2008 on the following roads:
Kings Lane, Bebington (Kings Road to Old Chester Road)
Teehey Lane, Bebington (Higher Bebington Road to Kings Road)
Kings Road, Bebington (Borough Road to Kings Lane)
Holm Lane. Oxton (Talbot Road to Oulton Close)
Bayswater Road, Wallasey (Newport Avenue to Greenleas Road )
Woodchurch Road Prenton(Holmlands Drive to Osmaston Road)
Feedback from Members and local residents had been positive and the restrictions had generally been accepted as an improvement to the immediate streetscene.
The Committee noted that the second phase of pilot restrictions was proposed for the following locations:
Townfield Lane, Oxton (Bidston Road to Shavington Avenue)
Storeton Road, Oxton (Woodchurch Road to Ingestre Road)
Frankby Road, Frankby (Blackhorse Hill to Newton Park Road)
Greasby Road, Greasby (Upton By Pass to Frankby Road)
Leasowe Road, Leasowe (Heyes Drive to Reeds Lane – south side only)
Pensby Road, Pensby (Gills Lane to Whitfield Lane)
A summary of the outcome of the consultation process and compliance to date in each of the roads where restrictions were introduced was set out in the report.
The Committee noted that there were various prevention measures available to deter pavement/verge parking including the installation of bollards, guard rails, high kerbs and raised planters. A number of these measures had been used, in exceptional cases, in the Borough; however, installation costs and their visual effect on the Streetscene ruled them out as a general solution.
Following discussions with Merseyside Police, they had confirmed that they would continue to issue Fixed Penalty Notices because it was an offence under Regulation 24 Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 to park a vehicle at night without lights on a road with a speed limit in excess of 30 miles per hour.
In many locations across Wirral even on roads that did not satisfy the criteria for introducing parking restrictions, pavement parking was still causing an obstruction problem for users of the pavement.
In roads where parking a vehicle half on the road and half on the pavement was generally acceptable because of limited off street parking provision there was no intention by Merseyside Police or the Council to restrict this practice. In certain locations where the pavements were of a suitable width and construction to sustain the weight of a vehicle and unobstructed access could be maintained for both pedestrians and road users, this unofficial parking arrangement worked well. However, there were still many vehicle owners/users that chose to park their vehicles fully on the pavement without any consideration for the potential inconvenience they were causing.
In situations such as this, and in response to enquiries and complaints from the public, elected Members, pedestrian forums and walking groups, it had been suggested by members of some of these groups that the owners/users of these vehicles should be made aware of the problems they were causing and be advised accordingly.
To raise their awareness an advisory notice such as the one attached as Appendix A to the report would be placed on the vehicle by staff from the Council’s Technical Services Department and officers from Merseyside Police in a similar way to the Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) issued by the Council’s Decriminalised Parking Enforcement Contractor. The notices would request the owner/user to park responsibly in the future and with consideration for pavement users. They would also be advised of the implications of their actions if they continued to park irresponsibly.
For vehicle owners that choose to ignore the notice, Merseyside Police would serve a Fixed Penalty Notice for obstruction on the owner of the vehicle and in the case where the practice persisted and a number of owners within the same road continued to park wholly on the pavement, the Council would consider introducing measures to restrict parking to “half on/half off” and then enforce the restrictions through the Council’s Decriminalised Parking Enforcement Contractor.
(1) the contents of the report be noted;
(2) the proposal to review the initial list of roads approved at the meeting of the Committee on 14 March 2007 and consider new locations based on the proposals set out in the report and subject to future funding, be endorsed;
(3) the proposals to deal with pavement obstruction be noted; and
(4) the Committee be updated at a future meeting on both the review of new restriction locations and the outcome of the advisory notice initiative.