Grass-verge parking creating road hazard in St Albans
PUBLISHED: 09:39 30 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:24 06 May 2010
PARK-goers have been causing a traffic hazard by parking on the grass verges of a busy part of the St Albans ring road in their droves. During the recent warm weather, people have been flocking to Verulamium Park and many of them have been parking along B
PARK-goers have been causing a traffic hazard by parking on the grass verges of a busy part of the St Albans ring road in their droves.
During the recent warm weather, people have been flocking to Verulamium Park and many of them have been parking along Bluehouse Hill to gain easy and free access to the area.
But it has caused tailbacks and a serious safety hazard as drivers slow down on the 40mph speed limit stretch of road in the hunt for a space and then reverse back off of the verges.
Some cars have also overhung the footpath, inhibiting access for wheelchair users.
The problem peaked last Wednesday as temperatures soared and parents with young children headed for the splash park.
Theoretically motorists aren't supposed to park on grass verges but there are currently no parking restrictions in place along the stretch of road.
However the district council is in the process of implementing a bylaw to change that.
Verulam ward councillor Martin Frearson said: "It is very dangerous and I think it is something that we have to address before it becomes common practice. If we don't there will be a nasty accident."
He continued: "It's been a problem for many years, whenever there is a big event in the park and in the warm weather, particularly since we opened the splash park, as that has attracted a lot of people that wouldn't normally visit the park."
But Cllr Frearson said he hasn't received many complaints from local residents about the problem and suspected it was because many people appreciated the difficulty of parking in the area at times of high demand.
He added: "I think we do need to recognise that the park is a very, very attractive area and we want young families to come and enjoy the park. But I think it's got to the point now where we really have to try to find a solution to the problem. We should be looking for temporary parking for the summer months in and around that area."
A spokesperson for the district council said they have consulted local residents who were very much in favour of action being taken to stop the nuisance.
She said the council has started the legal process to enable restrictions to be imposed and the changes would be advertised before they were enforced.
She added: "Once the district council are able to enforce parking restrictions, anyone parking illegally on this stretch of road will be fined. However, the fine will higher if they are also causing an obstruction to the footpath."
The spokesperson also pointed out that Herts Highways could take action if any verges were wilfully damaged and the police could intervene if a car was obstructing a footpath.