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MP calls for immediate action to address Formby traffic chaos

Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson has urged Sefton Council and the National Trust to work together to urgently address Formby's weekend parking and traffic issues.

Residents have described being 'prisoners in their own homes' as hundreds of cars queue for hours to enter the National Trust site most weekends in warm weather. Residents report that visitors block driveways, park on pavements and park on yellow lines despite parking restrictions. Concerns were also raised about access for emergency vehicles. Bill Esterson knocked on doors with Formby Labour Action Team members at the weekend to hear first hand of residents’ concerns and to hear some of the suggestions about how to improve the situation.

The MP has written to Merseyside Police and the Fire Service to ask whether they had confidence that they could effectively deal with emergencies. Mr Esterson and members of the Labour Action Team also spoke to traffic enforcement officers who said that the rules meant they were unable to enforce against obstructing driveways and pavement parking but were issuing tickets to vehicles parked on yellow lines.

Mr Esterson MP said: "One of our regular door knocking sessions coincided with another hot sunny day and the traffic chaos that is beginning to become a regular feature. Every resident we spoke to told us about the impact on them. "I know that Sefton Council convened a working group to look at the issue after the first May bank holiday of this year. The National Trust have been looking at the issue for years but each summer it seems to get worse. We know there is little scope to increase the amount of car parking spaces so I am urging the National Trust to work with Sefton Council to act immediately to implement new signage on the bypass at the very least so that visitors can receive up to date information.

"If the National Trust is full then visitors need to know that on the Formby bypass and be given information about alternatives. Visitors should be dissuaded from even turning into Formby once the coastal car parks are full. "The National Trust may have to take on board the operation of any matrix signs and have responsibility for updating the messages as they are the ones on site with the real-time information that is required. "Residents also want more help in the streets around the coast. There is a real problem with pavement parking, obstructing driveways and breaching parking regulations. There is potentially a real problem in an emergency and police, fire and ambulance vehicles need access. At present there are serious concerns about the obstructions being created by the way some people are parking.”

Carol Richards is a local resident and was the Labour candidate in the recent local elections. Carol said: “I live near the beach and have been increasingly worried at the way the problems of parking have grown. I have attended the meetings with the National Trust but we need action. Residents need some help and support from the National Trust and from the council.”

PIC: Bill with members of the Labour Action Team including Carol Richards (second from right) and a Sefton traffic enforcement officer at Gorse Way near to Formby's National Trust site

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