LIMITED parking times could stop motorists causing traffic chaos, blocking ‘essential’ disabled spaces and taking a free ride on Helsby's railway, say councillors.
For years commuters have parked their cars in the small car park outside Helsby railway station, on Lower Robin Hood Lane, for free before boarding the train to Chester or Manchester.
But after complaints from villagers as rail users block driveways, roads and abandon their cars outside shops for days on end as the car park overflows, new restrictions could finally put an end to the parking saga which sees ‘dangerous’ and ‘obstructive’ parking blocking up the village.
At a Helsby Parish Council meeting next Tuesday, members will decide whether to give £1,000 to Cheshire West and Chester Council towards implementing a one-hour time limit on parking outside the Post Office, paint double yellow lines on Chester Road and remove the two-hour time restrictions on the Station Avenue car park in a bid to ease the ongoing ‘parking chaos’.
Speaking during a presentation to the parish council last month, Cheshire West and Chester highways manager Richard Flood, said the parking issue in the village had been going on for years with the council approaching Network Rail and Arriva to try and solve the problem – but without much success.
“We have RSK parking on the road and lots of rail users parking up on pavements and outside shops all day. The problem is it is an issue with money the rail companies do not see car parking as a top priority,” said Mr Flood.
“It is not as simple as providing more parking spaces, that would merely encourage more people to use that station and therefore more people would overflow into the roads.
“People are coming to Helsby because they realise they might not have to pay to use the train or to park, because there are no machines and they might not get checked for a ticket.”
But Cllr Stuart Hulse said that even if restrictions were increased throughout the village the parking problems would not go away as long as RSK and rail users continued to park on the roads despite the PCSO giving out multiple tickets and fines.
The call for harsher parking restrictions comes almost eight months after CWaC approached rail service providers to build an extra 23 spaces at the station costing £70,000 – £3,043 each – but were unsuccessful with their bid.