By Betsy Everett
Pavement parking in a Dales village is creating a “nightmare” for pedestrians, with the elderly, disabled, and young children facing daily danger, a parish council has been told.
Vehicles regularly park on both sides of the main street through Askrigg, blocking access and forcing people into the road, said resident Kate Empsall.
“There are often so many vehicles parked right across the footpath that it’s a nightmare. Nobody can get past. It’s not just in the summer, but all year round now,” she told a recent meeting of Askrigg and Low Abbotside parish council.
She said the problem would be exacerbated when three new dwellings were created in the Askrigg Foundation’s three-storey building, as residents were sure to have cars.
She asked if the council could approach the owners of the empty Carrs Billington yard at the west end of the village with a view to renting car-parking spaces.
Councillor Bruce Fawcett, chairman, welcomed the suggestion, but said there was no guarantee the owners would allow it, or that people would use the facility.
“If people are in a holiday cottage, they’re going to want to park near it, not in a car park down the road. There’s never been an easy solution to this problem in the village,” he said.
Ward Councillor, Yvonne Peacock, said Richmondshire District Council were ordering a feasibility study on the Carrs Billington site.
“They are trying to get something done on the site that would be of advantage to Askrigg but it’s in the early stages. If you did want to use the area as a car park there would have to be planning permission, and that could open a whole can of worms,” she said.
Mrs Empsall said a feasibility study could take a long time, and in the meantime suggested the council approach the owners as a short-term solution.
“We could do with even a six-month period of respite,” she said.
Members agreed to keep the situation under review and ask the district council to consider incorporating car-parking into any final plan for the site.
Councillor Allen Kirkbride said that traffic cones placed on the kerbside outside homes were also becoming a problem.
“People take their cars out and then put the cones in place to keep their place. But it’s the public highway and they shouldn’t do it,” he said.
The situation would be monitored until the next meeting in January.