You can’t win ‘em all

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WIGAN Council’s Regulation Committee met yesterday morning (Friday) and granted approval for proposed parking arrangements to apply to the northern end of Whitley Crescent.

Parking has long been a bone of contention for residents and, the elected representatives of Wigan Central Ward are anxious to present the outcome as the best possible compromise...given that so many divergent opinions prevail. They also wish to provide an insight into the amount of effort exerted by expert officers before a final decision, such as this one, can be taken.

This issue dates back to the introduction of a residents’ parking scheme, which embraced the southern end of Whitley Crescent, in the year 2000. Soon afterwards residents asked the Council to extend the scheme to apply to the whole length of Whitley Crescent. The council could not agree as nationally set criteria could not be met.

Since then a number of subsequent requests have been made.

In October 2012 Wigan’s Traffic Management Unit approved, in principle, a scheme which included the introduction of a single yellow line on the west side of Whitley Crescent. This provoked 12 ‘letters of objection’. All of these opinions were carefully considered and treated as sensible ideas from sensible people.

Following the receipt of these letters, the Director of Environment became involved. The ensuing recommendation was the abandonment of the proposed single yellow line and the introduction of double yellow lines where Whitley Crescent intersects with Brooklands Road and Saint Clement’s Road. It was this recommendation that the Regulation Committee granted approval to on Friday. The new road markings fulfil nationally set requirements.

A parking survey had been conducted by the Highways Forecasting and Analysis Team of Transport for Greater Manchester in September 2013. This was to address the requests for a residents’ parking scheme. It found that such a scheme could not be justified.

Officers from Wigan Council’s Traffic Group and the WW&L NHS Trust met in October 2013 to discuss the residents’ concerns in relation to hospital parking. The latter group described the provisions the hospital had made for parking and stoutly defended their record. They did add that staff cannot be forced to use the parking facilities available to them.

The elected representatives of Wigan Central Ward realise that it is not possible to please all of the people all of the time. They do hope, though, that they have provided enough evidence to prove that such decisions are never taken lightly and that residents views are dealt with seriously.

Coun Mike McLoughlin

Wigan Central Ward