COMPLAINTS from scores of readers about motorists parking on pavements have led a local councillor to demand action from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC).

Last month, The Gazette told how Hatch Warren resident Simon Fisher hit out at “unacceptable” motorists in the borough for parking up on pavements.

He believed the issue has become worse in Basingstoke and that, despite not being illegal or enforceable, drivers were seriously impeding pedestrians – especially those using wheelchairs or pushing pushchairs.

Mr Fisher, who regularly takes his young granddaughter out in a buggy, said he was being forced to walk in the road.

He said: “My view is, if it’s not safe to park on the road, park somewhere where your car won’t get hit. By going on the pavement, it makes people go in the road.

“Were paths designed for pedestrians or cars?”

Mr Fisher added: “Cars seem to be more important than people.”

After reading about Mr Fisher’s concerns, stacks of Gazette readers have backed his claims, calling on “inconsiderate” drivers to stop parking on the pavements.

Mr Fisher’s plea was echoed by Councillor Simon Bound, cabinet member for communities and community safety at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, who labelled the inconsiderate parking “a real source of frustration” and “dangerous”.

Cllr Bound added: “We do what we can, within the powers that we have, to combat this and although the council is not responsible for providing parking spaces in residential roads, we recognise how important this is to residents.

“We have created around 600 additional parking spaces in around 40 streets over the past 10 years.”

Councillor Michael Westbrook, councillor for Brookvale and Kings Furlong, said he had long championed action being taken on this issue and thanked residents and the Gazette for raising awareness of the issue.

He said: “My residents have been saying for some time that pedestrians should not be forced to walk in the road because the footpaths are completely blocked and it’s no surprise that Cllr Bound has woken up to the issue of pavement parking now it’s appeared on his own doorstep in Rooksdown.

“This is a problem that the Labour Group has been taking action on for over a year now.

“We first raised the issue at full council in December 2015 and last July we asked the portfolio holder if he would support using the council’s many levels of communication to raise awareness of this important issue. “He agreed it was a good idea and that he would work up a plan.

“I will welcome it when it arrives.

“So far there has been limited coverage of this problem and I thank The Gazette for allowing this further opportunity.”

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