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Councillors Brian Greenslade and Philip Collins from Torridge District Council and North Devon Council have condemned Eric Pickles plans to make parking on double yellow lines legal

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: August 01, 2013

ROAD SIGNS: Double yellow lines are there for a reason, say Philip Collins and Brian Greenslade.

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THE leaders of Torridge District Council and North Devon Council have both condemned proposals to make it legal to park on double lines, saying it would cause chaos across Northern Devon.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced he wants to revive high streets by giving motorists a grace period for parking of up to 15 minutes.

But Torridge leader Philip Collins, and North Devon leader Brian Greenslade have both said it would mean chaos is created in towns across both districts.

Mr Collins said: "This sounds quite ridiculous, if people are allowed to park on yellow lines then the yellow lines should not be there in the first place.

"I do think there are often too many double yellow lines and certainly there should be a review around our towns on the extent of double yellow lines.

"When Great Torrington experienced lack of enforcement during the transition from police to county enforcement I understand there was considerable disruption in the town.

"A review of yellow lines should be done every five or ten years as traffic movements do change over time, shops close and restrictions perhaps are not always needed at the same places.

"If we follow Eric's suggestions we will indeed be in a right Pickle."

Mr Greenslade said: "Double yellow lines are there for a reason – primarily to improve congestion and safety.

"If these rules were relaxed, it would inevitably lead to more congestion, creating dangerous situations for road users and pedestrians.

"It would also prove exceptionally challenging and costly to enforce."

Simon Toon, the car parks manager at Torridge, said that to enforce a 15-minute rule many more enforcement officers would be needed.

He said: "Many towns already provide this option in the form of dedicated areas of the highway which are clearly marked for parking but waiting is limited to a set time. The time varies between areas between 20 minutes and four hours.

"It's called limited waiting and takes at least two enforcement visits, the first to record the vehicle and the time and the second to check if it is still there.

"Many roads have restrictions for very good reasons such as the width of the carriageway – imagine the chaos that would be caused in narrow streets when vehicle cannot pass, even worse what happens if emergency vehicles are blocked from responding to incidents?

"I would also be concerned about pedestrian safety, as pedestrians would be forced to cross between parked vehicles."

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  • mjcassini  |  August 04 2013, 1:34PM

    Credit people with some intelligence! It's highly unlikely anyone will park in a narrow street or cause real obstruction. Most parking control amounts to racketeering and has been out of hand for too long. "Claims that parking control keeps traffic flowing and pedestrians safe are specious," (to quote my blog at Equality Streets). "Pedestrians will never be safe as long as priority rules; and you don't keep traffic flowing by stopping it every 40 yards at traffic lights." Natural congestion - as distinct from congestion contrived by traffic control - does not make roads unsafe for vulnerable users. On the contrary: by slowing speeds, it makes roads safer.

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