Residents call for parking crackdown in Stalbridge
FRUSTRATED residents in Stalbridge have asked highways officials to crack down on what they have described as "dangerous and inconsiderate" parking.
Cars parked on the roadside in the Duck Lane and Woodmills area of the town are hampering residents' access and at times making roads impassible to emergency services.
Residents say the situation is worst when parents park at the roadside to drop off and collect children from the primary school. They also claim the problem is exacerbated by local workers parking in residential areas instead of the free car park off Station Road.
Woodmills resident Ann Turnbull said: "If anyone needed an ambulance or fire engine it just wouldn't be able to get through.
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"We bought our house eight years ago. We knew the school was here so we expected the road to be used for parking at times but it's all the time now."
Jo Kirby, also of Woodmills, added: "The annoying thing is that Stalbridge has a large car park and there are always free spaces."
Local residents met with town councillors, Dorset Highways representatives and Stalbridge Primary School headmaster Michael Allen last Friday to discuss the problem.
Town councillor John Cowley said: "People are parking indiscriminately across people's driveways.
"Residents should be able to get in and out of their houses when they wish and without their homes being blocked."
Mr Allen said he was aware of the problem and had made efforts to encourage parents not to use their cars for the school run.
"The school does as much as it can to encourage parents and children to walk but it is not always possible," he said.
It was claimed that some visitors to the town are reluctant to use the free car park because cars parked on the main road outside the Post Office and butcher's shop make it dangerous to turn onto the High Street from Station Road.
Dorset County Council traffic engineering manager Andrew Brown said that on-street parking on Duck Lane and Woodmills, although in many cases legal, was causing problems in the area, and acknowledged that parked cars would have prevented emergency services vehicles from accessing several homes during his visit. He suggested that yellow lines opposite the school may improve the situation at the narrow pinch-point but said the request would have to come from the town council.
"Residents have made their feelings clear. The town council needs to consider what it believes to be an appropriate request and put it to us at Dorset County Council."
Town councillor Katie Garland added: "We want to find a solution to the problem.
"The biggest concern is emergency access. Sometimes it's almost impossible to get any vehicle through."