FAREHAM has one of the highest car ownership numbers in the UK.
Traffic numbers and congestion on our roads is becoming a standstill, especially in rush hour, and our motorways are now so congested, new innovative methods to help us move around our county are needed.
As a local borough councillor, my residents are becoming very concerned at the increasing levels of inappropriate and obstructive parking – especially pavement straddling.
Many past development designers have built with limited parking opportunities and, as our younger residents learn to drive, each household’s parking needs become too great for the space allocated to each property.
The main deciding factor for obstructive parking advised by the police is that straddle parking, where wheelchairs and pushchairs cannot pass, is deemed to be antisocial parking and open to police enforcement.
The issue is now more of police availability to enforce obstructive parking.
However, with dwindling numbers of police officers available, it seems the roads are more accessible to pedestrians than pavements and it will take an accident to focus minds on this problem again.
Local police have reiterated the difficulties due to budget cuts on police spending, further stating that their priorities are always violent crime, public safety, petty crime and antisocial behaviour. But they have reassured me that if and when officers are out and about throughout the Borough, any such obstructive parking would be immediately served with a fine.
Whilst I am disappointed that priority means obstructive parking is taking a minor part in our police work, I do understand the limitations of dwindling manpower numbers.
Unfortunately, though, it seems that both Hampshire Highways and police are reactive rather than proactive and accidents are the driver for improvements on our paths and highways.
For more information on Fareham Borough Council’s parking policy visit fareham.gov.uk/PDF/parking/parkingreport2017.pdf