Friday, 22 October 2021

New yellow lines to stop parking on through road

DOUBLE yellow lines could be installed near the riverside in Benson to improve road safety.

They would be painted along both sides of the road through Preston Crowmarsh from the western junction with the A4074 to the last house on the right before the lock.

Benson Parish Council says the move would discourage inappropriate parking which makes it difficult for large vehicles to get through.

Mick Brown, who leads the council’s transport working group, told a meeting of the council that the initial step would be to ask Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, to hold a public consultation on the issue.

This would cost the parish council £3,255.

Councillor Bill Pattison, who chairs the council, said: “A lot of parking takes place in that road as it’s near three businesses at the waterfront, the council’s own recreation area and a bus stop, which are all very popular.

“A lot of people park there and take walks along the river, so there has been a push from the residents and the council to have some yellow lines as it is awkward for large vehicles to get through.

“It hasn’t happened yet but one of the fears is that emergency vehicles could not get through if there are cars blocking the way into Preston Crowmarsh.

“We know excessive parking is causing residents grief. There’s too many cars for the area and if businesses don’t have enough parking spaces, that’s not something that should impact road safety.

“It’s a bit of a difficult one because by putting yellow lines there, the problem might just move somewhere else.”

Councillor Teresa McTeague said: “People are parking cars near the verges on that stretch and I think the people of Preston Crowmarsh will be upset if this does not go forward.

“We have all seen the problem and are aware it became a matter of safety.”

Councillor Ian Skeels added: “It’s really dangerous as it is — there’s an accident waiting to happen there.”

In 2019, similar concerns were raised when the Benson neighbourhood plan delivery team’s infrastructure group showed councillors photographs of cars parked along Preston Crowmarsh Lane, blocking access to large vehicles.

At the time, an informal survey of the 50-odd residents was carried out and of the 24 responses only one was against the idea of yellow lines.

If approved, the lines would cost up to £8,000 and take six months to install.

The parish council has already backed the idea of a toucan crossing on the A4074 to improve safety for pedestrians.

This will cost £160,000 with most of the money coming from the county council and £10,000 from Benson Parish Council.

There is currently an island on the road near the junction with Church Road but this is thought to be insufficient with the expected growth in traffic from new housing developments.

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