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Act before a child dies on jammed road
A CHILD could be knocked over and killed unless urgent action is taken to combat problem parking on a busy Worcester road, say residents.
People who live in Chesterton Gardens and Darwin Avenue, off Newtown Road, Worcester, are calling for ‘access only’ restrictions similar to prohibitions on other roads near Worcestershire Royal Hospital, including Aconbury Close and Linksview Crescent. However, West Mercia Police say they do not support such orders, which are designed to prevent roads being used by “unsuitable volumes of traffic”. But despite police reservations, the county council has introduced 50 of them in Worcester and 185 across the county, the first dating back to 1975.
Teacher Joe Lyons, of Chesterton Gardens, said he was concerned about the safety of children in the area, including his own children, Ben, four, and Emi, two.
“My concern is safety. Somebody is going to get knocked over,” he said.
“The cars are parked half on the pavement and half on the road and children can run out between the cars.
“I would like to see the roads as ‘access only’. This is people putting their head in the sand – they don’t have to live here.”
A consultation letter to residents was sent out on March 1 with feedback expected to be sent back by the end of the month.
The letter, signed by Mike Digger of West Mercia Police on behalf of the chief constable and Sally Everest of the county council, said police do not support the orders because of a policy by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). However, further investigations by your Worcester News reveals the ACPO has no such policy and the letter was mistaken.
In the same letter residents are asked to back ‘waiting restrictions’ instead of an order to prevent parking.
However, some residents have said that if the ‘access only’ restriction is difficult to enforce then it should be removed from other roads off Newtown Road to ‘share the pain’ of parking which they say is often people who work at, or visiting, the hospital.
Vicki Davies, of Chesterton Gardens, said: “This estate has narrow roads and the houses have no front gardens. Consequently small children cycle in the roads and run to and from the park area where they play and on their way to and from school.
“Elderly people are also now at risk as the council decided to put access to the care home through this narrow estate.”
She said of the options letter: “The letter, signed for the chief constable, advises us that any decision we make can’t be reviewed for two years and also that one option isn’t supported by the police in line with ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) policy. As no such written policy exists at either ACPO or West Mercia level, I am shocked by the deceit.”
John Fraser, Worcestershire County Council’s highways manager, said: “We appreciate that parking in Darwin Avenue and Chesterton Gardens creates concern for some residents. We are working with the police and residents to introduce measures.”