It is not often I feel passionate enough to write to a newspaper, but cannot think of any other way to make a comment on the subject of vehicles and Whalley.
My family were living in the village way before the invention of the car so have seen all the changes, as a child I remember the bypass being built and benefited from the brief period of a congestion-free village it offered. I remember when there were traffic lights with double lane traffic, and when they added extra parking when they took away one of the lanes and put a mini roundabout in the centre.
The village has more than doubled in size over the past 20 years alone, and car ownership has exploded – so yes it is inevitable there will be congestion, and with visitors to the village and extensive building on the outskirts making it too far to walk into the centre, parking is a major issue with little chance of resolution.
The area around the school has been in the news for bad parking for at least 30 years, but what has disturbed me most of late is the trend of parking on pavements throughout the village. It is illegal to park on the pavement either entirely or partially – it is also illegal to park in cycle lanes on double yellow lines and across disabled access points – more and more I am finding pavements made so narrow by cars parking on them that a pram, mobility devises and, in some cases, just a person cannot get past and has to walk on the road.
My husband suggested that, with the huge amount of four-wheel drive vehicles owned locally they need to park on the pavement so other cars can get past easily, stopping them getting scratched or bashed and keeping the flow of traffic moving – I suggested that if you have a vehicle so big it blocks traffic or may be damaged by parking it legally, and that its value is greater than that of the life of the person having to walk into the road to get around it, maybe a smaller, cheaper vehicle would be better suited to living in a village with congestion problems. Of course at one time the only people who owned such behemoths were farmers who used the vehicle for its original intended use.
The illegal parking is, of course, not an exclusive occupation of the 4WD though. I am a car driver myself, but like to think of myself as a considerate and legal driver/parker. In just one journey through the village this week there were cars parked on pavements, double yellow lines, zigzag lines, the bus stop, over the edges of exits roads and junctions, across the corner of two roads, across disabled access points, and completely blocking access to the rears of houses in several places. To me it seems blinkered, selfish and dangerous. I looked up the legality of all these scenarios, they are all illegal but none of them are enforced outside London because it would mean the police having to fine millions of people. All I ask, nicely, is that when you park your car, just think about pedestrians, because once you get out of your car, you become one of them.
Mrs K. Rimmer,