Residents fear yellow lines for Leighton Buzzard street will intensify battle to park

Hockliffe Road (Google)
Hockliffe Road (Google)

Pavement parking in a Leighton Buzzard street which is causing a danger to vulnerable pedestrians is to be clamped down on – but some residents are not happy with the decision.

Central Beds Council has decided to introduce a series of parking restrictions in Hockliffe Road by March 2018 at a cost of £2,000.

The council says that the road is one of the main arterial roads serving Leighton Buzzard, is a designated freight route, and on a weekday between 700 and 800 vehicles use the road in the morning and evening peak hour, heading either toward or away from the town centre.

Due to development and increased car ownership, the demand for parking along the road has steadily increased. The problem is more acute as residents of adjacent streets, including Regent Street and George Street, have a lack of parking space in their road.

The council states: “As a consequence, Central Bedfordshire Council has received several complaints about obstructive parking on the westernmost section of Hockliffe Road. Issues are most prevalent during the morning and evening peak periods where on-street parking creates congestion as there is insufficient width within the carriageway for opposing vehicles to pass without interruption.

“In an attempt to minimise the potential for conflict and to protect their vehicle, many drivers park their vehicles half on the footway. However, there is insufficient width within the footway to accommodate this behaviour.

“The result is to create an obstruction, requiring vulnerable users to cross and re-cross the carriageway to complete their journey. This

presents a significant risk to their safety.”

A summer consultation on the waiting restrictions drew 10 objections from the public who stated that the parked vehicles had a traffic calming affect by reducing speed, and that yellow lines would displace parking demand and add to the already severe competition for spaces in adjacent streets.

Further fears included an increase indiscriminate and obstructive parking within the locality,and the restrictions would be pointless without effective enforcement.

A Residents Parking Zone to complement the yellow lines was also suggested, but CBC has rejected that idea.

The council states: “There is a clear case to act on traffic management and road safety grounds, including contravention of the authority’s policy on verge and pavement parking.

“Whilst it is likely that average vehicle speeds will increase on this section of Hockliffe Road, the net impact of the proposal on road safety would be expected to be positive.

“There would be a displacement of parking demand into adjacent roads, which would increase the pressure for measures to address issues in Regent Street, George Street and the South Street areas (all of which have been the subject of recent informal consultation).

“As with all new schemes, the impact of the proposals should be monitored and additional mitigating measures bought forward if required.

“The requirement for enforcement is acknowledged.”

The council has agreed to bring forward a consultation to review waiting restrictions within the wider local area.

> Some yellow lines have also been agreed for the Knaves Hill/Chestnut Hill area of Linslade, where residents have complained about obstructive commuter parking, particularly at junctions.

Mowbray Drive, Leighton Buzzard, is also being considered for restrictions.

> What’s your experience in these roads, or other parts of Leighton Buzzard? Email news@lbobserver.co.uk