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Parking in Boutport Street in Barnstaple still an issue says town councillor

By NDJFran  |  Posted: February 10, 2014

SimonHarvey

Councillor Simon Harvey in Boutport Street

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MOTORISTS parking on pavements in Barnstaple are causing unnecessary obstacles for the elderly and those with sight issues, a town councillor has claimed.

Simon Harvey, who is partially sighted, first raised issues with people parking on Boutport Street in August last year.

He also had concerns about cracks in the pavements which had been damaged by repeated parking.

Mr Harvey raised his concerns with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) which sent a representative to a Barnstaple Town Council meeting.

But he claims enough is still not being done.

“I am so frustrated about it,” he said. “We have got crooked pavements because people park on them.

“We need some action in Boutport Street. We could have bollards put up on the street which would protect pedestrians and stop the pavements from being broken.

“To think £70,000 has been spent to make a safe crossing point is ridiculous when there are other things that need to be done.”

Mr Harvey believes work carried out by Devon County Council to improve the road has encouraged people to park on the pavement.

“I have been contacted by members of the public who have come out of the bank to face a vehicle coming right at them on to the pavement,” he added.

“I also know of five people who have fallen over on crooked pavements in Boutport Street.”

Marie Jenkins, regional campaigns officer for the RNIB, said people parking on pavements not only caused problems for those who were blind or partially sighted, but also for those in wheelchairs or people pushing buggies.

She added: “Moving around safely on pavements is essential for blind and partially sighted people. However, in Barnstaple like too many other places, drivers park on the pavements, often mistakenly thinking they are doing the right thing by keeping the road clear.”

She continued: “We want the police and local authorities to take this issue seriously and take action against those who obstruct pavements or clutter the pavements with A-boards.

“And I am glad that councillors in Barnstaple have recognised the issue and are going to take the matter further.”

Devon County Council was contacted but was unavailable for comment.

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  • tbalment  |  February 11 2014, 12:57PM

    Why is parking allowed on both sides of the road in Boutport St. from its junction with Joy St to Vicarage St.? Being a well used bus route this can cause congestion during busy times. Is this more about getting revenue into the councils' coffers than maintaining good traffic flow & pedestrian safety?

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