Parking, but not riding...
Date published: 24 January 2014
Oldham Council has launched a zero-tolerance policy on selfish drivers ahead of Oldham’s new town-centre tramline launch on Monday. RICHARD HOOTON reports on a problem the council is keen to nip in the bud...
A CCTV enforcement car and camera patrolled Union Street for 12 days between December 23 and January 11, issuing 44 fines of £70.
Despite the visible presence — which usually discourages such behaviour — the problem has actually worsened as we approach Metrolink launch day: 98 tickets were handed out in the FIVE days from January 13.
The vast majority of motorists ticketed stopped to make evening visits to fast-food shops, typically ignoring the 30-minute free parking in Union Street bays and other nearby spots.
Drivers park on the footpath, block tram routes or park on double-yellow lines or mount kerbs.
Councillor Shoab Akhtar said: “We knew the new traffic arrangements might cause some early problems on Union Street as people got used to them - but we’re well beyond that now. This could potentially cause very big problems when Metrolink is up and running.
“When the tram service is operational this kind of parking can easily block its route and cause serious delays.
“Do we really want to see trams backed up because someone has parked over tram lines, or so close to the tracks that a tram can’t safely pass?
“We make no apologies for taking a zero-tolerance stance on this and I’m sure the vast majority of the public and town-centre businesses are behind us.”
Transport for Greater Manchester wrote to residents and businesses along the route with a ‘Looking out for your safety’ leaflet aimed at passengers, pedestrians and drivers.
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