RESIDENTS and local councillors are to meet to thrash out a scheme to stop a street in Astley Bridge becoming choked with parked cars and litter.
People living in Holland Street have protested over the volume of cars outside their homes since The Range and other local stores brought in restrictions preventing non-customers leaving vehicles on their car parks.
Crompton ward councillors Guy Harkin, Sufrana Bashir-Ismail and Hanif Darvesh met residents a year ago, but so far no scheme has been put in place to resolve the problem.
Resident Ian Morris, aged 72, said: “Most people in Holland Street appear to prefer a residents’ permit parking scheme.
“We are in the ludicrous situation where people are actually parking outside our homes to shop in The Range, instead of using their car park.
“It’s a crazy situation, because this is not a town centre, but it’s almost as big a problem as it is finding parking in the middle of Bolton.
“Our street is permanently full of cars, even when The Range car park adjacent is completely empty. The street has not been swept or cleaned for more than 12 months and often bins are not emptied because the wagon cannot get into the back street.”
Kevan Larkin, aged 62, added: “The council slogan ‘love Bolton, hate litter’ is becoming a joke round here. It’s more a case of ‘love Bolton, love litter’.
“The street is also being used as a short cut by motorists turning left from Crompton Way on to Blackburn Road — avoiding the traffic lights — which is making the situation worse. Many of our cars have had wing mirrors clipped by passing traffic.
Kevin Holiday, aged 35, said: “The majority of us would not mind even paying for permits to park, if it improved the situation.”
Steve Valentine, aged 54, added: “I dread to think what would happen if there was a major house fire and a fire engine needed to get down here.”
Cllr Harkin said that ward councillors would meet residents again to discuss exactly what kind of scheme would resolve their problems.
He said: “It has to be something which 90 per cent of them agree on. Following our meeting 12 months ago, we approached The Range, and they said it was national policy to stop people who are not customers parking on their properties.
“It’s the same situation at Asda and Lidl, so there is a difficult problem to resolve.
“We started talking about introducing a residents only parking scheme and we agreed to consultation, but unfortunately that process has not taken yet taken place. But we will do it now.”
A Bolton Council spokesman said: “Local councillors raised residents’ concerns about parking on residential streets in Astley Bridge, around The Range, and asked us to come up with any possible solutions.
“We are currently discussing some options with local councillors and are awaiting their feedback before we take any further action.”
A spokesman for ParkingEye said: “We were brought in to manage the car park at The Range as there was a serious problem of motorists parking there but using other facilities.
“The car park is monitored 24 hours a day to prevent such abuse, as well as any potential anti-social behaviour.
“All Range customers get two hours of free parking within store opening hours and there are 29 signs across the car park which clearly detail the terms and conditions of use.
“The vast majority of motorists follow these rules.
“It is clearly signposted that you cannot use the car park outside of the opening hours.”