Crackdown on motorists parking on paths
by Hayley Robinson
Zero tolerance towards people
parking on the footpaths of Sittingbourne High Street – that’s what
Chalkwell Labour councillor Ghlin Whelan is calling for.
Parking was brought up during a
Local Engagement Forum (LEF) meeting at Phoenix House, Central
Avenue, Sittingbourne, in December.
Cllr Whelan said: "We have been
struggling to make progress on this for the last five years when it
was first brought up by former Cllr Ann McLean who was part of the
Swale Access Group.
"She raised the fact it
causes problems for those in wheelchairs or who are partially
sighted or blind.
"We have been campaigning
since then to get the police or the council to admit whose
responsibility it is to carry out enforcement and at last police
have said it is theirs.
"Cars and lorries do not
belong on the footpaths and they are a hazard."
District Commander for Swale
Tony Henley and Inspector Evan Jones attended the meeting, during
which they told councillors and residents that there is now a
police officer in the town centre monitoring the problem as part of
their duties and that 66 penalty notice tickets, which carry a £60
fine, have been issued to motorists for this offence since November
20 – 28 of those to cars parked illegally in the High
But concerns were raised once
again when the following night, despite empty laybys, Cllr Whelan
found seven vehicles parked on the pavement at the west end of the
The following day he saw a
large lorry parked on the pavement between bollards, unloading. As
a result he is now calling for regular updates from Kent police on
the matter at future LEF meetings.
He said: "I am surprised that
violations continue when vehicles have had tickets in recent
"People are concerned about
this issue and I will continue to press the police for progress
Insp Jones said: "Pedestrians
have to walk in the road because some motorists believe they can
park on the pavement and the standard of parking on the High
Street, at times, is appalling.
"We will continue to deal robustly with any offences we
see or are reported to us."
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