Parking to be overhauled in Valley village

Photo Neil Cross
Whalley - re parking row
Photo Neil Cross Whalley - re parking row

Footpaths are to be overhauled in a Lancashire village to resolve parking problems.

The local Chamber of Trade and Parish Council has requested Lancashire County Council undertakes a full revision of parking regulations in Whalley, in the Ribble Valley, claiming workers are taking up spaces meant for shoppers.

They say the issues are impacting trade and the long-term viability of the village.

After a period of consultation, a number of proposals have been made to ease congestion.

They include widening existing footpaths that are too narrow and reducing excessive footpath width to improve parking and traffic flow.

Parking provision in King Street, the main shopping area, would be a key focus. The main principal is to prevent all day parking, preserving bays for visitors and shoppers.

It was agreed that the parking period should be two hours with no return in two hours, operating from Monday to Saturday between 8am and 6pm.

There are also plans to narrow footpaths outside number 87 to 105 King Street, so to allow parking on both sides of the road without causing congestion.

Footpaths would be widened on both sides of King Street between numbers 64 on the east side and the Dog Inn on the west side.

A number of complaints have been lodged after a period of consultation.

They include concern that reduced parking on the main street will increase pressure on residential roads, the limit of two hours will not discourage people from driving to work, no waiting orders proposed for other nearby roads are unnecessary, and changes will not work unless they are correctly enforced.

A report to Coun. John Fillis, cabinet member for highways at Lancashire County Council, states parking would only been removed where it is considered “absolutely necessary to maintain traffic flow”.

On the subject of the two hour restrictions, it says: “The parking bays in this area are key to providing facilities for shoppers and visitors and whilst it is accepted that this will have some impact on residents, the scheme has been designated to limit the effect as much as possible by allowing unlimited parking on Sundays and from 4pm to 10am every other day.”

It adds: “It is considered that this is a reasonable time period that allows visitors to see the local attractions and to complete their shopping. The restriction is aimed to improve the viability of the centre by providing a good turnover of parking spaces for shoppers and visitors.”

It says that off-street parking is outside the scope of the scheme, and that an application for a privately owned car park on land off King Street has been made, however the success of the application cannot be assured.

The report adds: “Whilst it is acknowledged that parking monitoring and enforcement has been an issue in all villages throughout Lancashire the proposal aims to be relatively self-enforcing by presenting a practical layout which benefits the centre and its users.”

Additional restrictions on Queen Street and Princess Street are said to be necessary to enable refuse collection vehicles to access these streets.

If passed, the scheme would be funded from Ribble Valley Highways budget at an estimated cost of £2,500 and from developer contributions.