‘Bedlam’ claim over blackspot

Cars queuing to get into Marks and Spencer car park, St Annes
Cars queuing to get into Marks and Spencer car park, St Annes

TRADERS are hoping a police parking purge can help ease the “absolute bedlam” at a St Annes town centre blackspot.

The car park at the corner of Clifton Drive South and Wood Street, serving Marks and Spencer Simply Food and other shops, has long been plagued by congestion as motorists queue for a space at peak times.

But police claim that problems have eased recently following a reverse of the traffic flow which came as a condition of the planning permission granted for the building of the Travelodge hotel above the shops.

St Annes Central PACT (Police and Communities Together) was told that monitoring of congestion levels was to continue.

But there had been “few reports on issues in the last few weeks” and it was agreed it would no longer be a leading PACT priority.

“It would appear residents are getting used to the new system,” PACT members were told, with PACT chairman Drew McLaren adding: “There have been one or two minor bumps in the area but no suggestion that they were connected directly to the car park.”

But former St Annes town Mayor Coun Barbara Mackenzie told a meeting of St Annes Chamber of Trade that it is “still absolute bedlam at times at the bottom of Wood Street”, adding:

“A combination of traffic queuing for the car park and blue badge holders parking on double yellow lines on Wood Street opposite the entrance makes it very difficult for traffic to get past and leads to congestion onto Clifton Drive South as well as Wood Street.”

Carolyn Clapham, co-proprietor of the Storytellers Inc bookshop on The Cresent, said: “A problem is drivers who can’t find a space on the car park are waiting in the hope that one will come free.

“If it is full, they should drive on rather than wait.”

The PACT meeting was told police are to resume monitoring traffic levels at the car park now The Open golf is over

Police have also pledged to clamp down on parking blackspot areas all over St Annes.

Coun MacKenzie added: “The parking situation around the whole town needs to be looked at.

“Everybody has a grouse about it.”