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Rosemary Lane residents reach the end of the road

Rosemary Lane residents have told Sefton Council enough is enough after another day of thoughtless parking and traffic congestion prevented a fire engine from accessing their road. The emergency vehicle was forced to stop and reverse down Rosemary Lane, leaving residents shocked and angry that people's safety is being compromised by selfish drivers, illegal parking and a lack of action by the council.

Ongoing parking issues, going back many years, have resulted in mums with prams, disabled wheelchair users and elderly people being forced into the road when trying to negotiate vehicles parked partially or almost entirely on the pavement. Refuse lorries have been hemmed in by drivers double-parking and residents face a daily struggle to reverse out of their driveways.

A recent survey of Rosemary Lane residents highlighted the extent of the problem. Almost every resident replied with 96% of respondents saying the present situation should not be allowed to continue.

The survey highlighted a variety of difficulties:

• A wheelchair user regularly seen abandoning the pavement

because he could not pass parked vehicles

• Minor accidents and vehicle damage caused to residents’ cars

• Driveways blocked

• Abuse from motorists when asked to move obstructing vehicles

• Large vehicles regularly forced to reverse out of the road because of restricted access.

It is believed that the situation has been made worse by the council's decision to introduce parking charges in Sumner Road.

“A group of Rosemary Lane residents have repeatedly asked the council to resolve the parking problem but we are struggling to make any headway,” said resident Chris Gerrard. “Options we would like the council to consider include, for example, Residents' Parking permits or restricted parking on one side of the road."

“We have logged a number of serious incidents caused directly by the parking issues in Rosemary Lane and the latest issue – a fire engine unable to get down our street - is just one in a long list of concerns.”

Another resident, Martin Prince, said: “Surely the council has a duty of care to ensure that emergency vehicles have access to the road. Every day residents struggle to reverse out of their driveway. When we’re not dodging speeding vehicles as we negotiate our way out, we’re trying to avoid knocking yet another car double-parked across the road. The council really needs to get its act together.”

Mike Coles, chair of Formby Parish Council, is supporting the campaign. He has asked Merseyside Fire Service for their comments on the latest incident involving one of their vehicles and Merseyside Police are also monitoring the situation.

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