Parking congestion near Formby Beach

Motorists who ignore yellow lines and park in an obstructive way near beaches at Southport, Ainsdale, Formby and Crosby should be fined more money than they are now to stop these areas from being “overwhelmed” this summer.

That call will be made by councillors at tonight’s full Sefton Council meeting, as they also demand more enforcement officers along the Sefton coastline with the busy school summer holidays about to begin. 

Harington Ward Independent councillor David Irving will ask councillors to back his plea for the council to write to the Secretary of State in requesting him to allow Sefton Council to Increase the penalty charge in their area.

By granting this request it is hoped that the continued abuse of traffic regulations by many motorists who illegally park vehicles in restricted areas of Sefton will force them to be more sensible in the way they park vehicles in the future.

He is also asking the council more resources for additional enforcement.

He said: “Over the last five years there has been a complete disregard by motorists visiting the Sefton Coast in the parking of their vehicles on clearly marked single and double yellow lines as well as grass verges in residential areas.

“Drivers refuse to pay reasonable car parking charges thinking they can get away without receiving a parking ticket due to the many vehicles illegally parked.

“At a recent May Bank Holiday 2021, over two days Sefton Council issued in one small area of Sefton 121 penalty charge notices.

“The Civil Enforcement Officers who issued them were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of illegally parked vehicles and were unable to issue more due to their time on duty.

“The charge of a parking ticket is at present at its maximum level allowed by the Government, £70 charge but £35 if paid within 28 days.

“This amount for parking fines the Government has imposed on local councils is simply not enough to persuade drivers to stop this unwarranted illegal parking in residential areas, which has caused many residents to resent visitors to their area.”

Merseyside Police horses Silver and Oxberry patrol Formby Beach

Merseyside Police horses Silver and Oxberry patrol Formby Beach

Cllr Irving also wants to see greater enforcement. 

He said: “Over the last five years’ visitor pressure on Sefton’s attractive coastline has increased in such large numbers that the areas at Crosby, Blundellsands, Ainsdale and especially Formby have been overwhelmed by visitors.

“In Formby the majority of visitors arrive by car, car parks become full early on so visitors park in residential areas completely ignoring yellow line restrictions.

“The roads become impassable and Sefton Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers are unable to deal with the sheer numbers of illegally parked vehicles with many motorists not getting fined for their complete disregard to traffic regulations which are clearly marked on roads.

“The most recent case to prove this point of vehicle numbers was Sefton Council’s green bin collection on May Bank Holiday Monday when collection was abandoned as the vehicle was unable to maneuver through the densely illegally parked vehicles in the area of Harington Ward, Formby and was rescheduled several days later at an extra cost to Sefton Council’s collection. “The lack of enforcement has now led to a belief by visitors that the same sort of tolerance will be accepted in the nature reserve and beach.

“This has resulted in large numbers of people attending ‘raves’, lighting barbecues on the beaches, in the Pine Woods and taking alcohol with them.”

“Enough is enough and I am asking this council to support my motion of requesting for additional funds to resource the service adequately in order that there is capacity to tackle the issues of illegal parking throughout the borough and more specifically near to Sefton Coast.

“This action alone will undoubtedly convey the message to visitors that Sefton Council will not tolerate bad behavior either by drivers or organised groups who cause this antisocial behavior to our wonderful coastline.”

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