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Draconian new parking restrictions could turn Friars Cliff to Mudeford into 'No Parking Zone'

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NEW parking restrictions making nearly every coastal road between Friars Cliff and Mudeford a “no parking zone” could be in operation by the summer.

The new rules would apply year-round to major routes including Avon Run Close, Avon Run Road, Bure Lane and Seaway Avenue, which are already covered by single yellow lines stopping drivers from parking at certain times of the day.

Measures by BCP Council could see roads lined with “no waiting” and “no loading/unloading” signs in an effort to avoid scenes similar to those last summer when the tens of thousands of people flocking to beaches sparked the declaration of a major incident.

Christchurch parking scheme public notice (55368397)
Christchurch parking scheme public notice (55368397)

Residents complained that their driveways were blocked by parked vehicles, while others warned roads had become dangerous due to cars parking on verges and near junctions. Some said they had to “jump for their lives” to avoid being hit by a car.

The stronger restrictions would cover nearly every road between Friars Cliff and Avon Beach. In Mudeford, there will be “no waiting” and “no loading/unloading” signs lining both sides of the carriageway to the west of the Bure Lane junction for approximately 25 metres. The same rule would cover the carriageway from its junction with Bure Lane to Avon Beach car park.

Christchurch parking scheme public notice (55368395)
Christchurch parking scheme public notice (55368395)

A public consultation is being held on the proposed restrictions, with residents able to have their say until 25th March.

Cllr Lesley Dedman, whose ward is Mudeford, Stanpit and West Highcliffe, said the plans were “the best solution to what is a nightmare”.

She added: “Paramount in all this is safety, for motorists and more importantly pedestrians. Even I have had to jump into someone’s driveway several times to avoid a car while walking my dogs on some of the roads.

“There simply is not the room for cars to park everywhere or try to pass in narrow streets. The problem is not just in the summer, it is year round. There has been discussion after discussion about how the problem can be tackled.

“It has been difficult; we are never going to please everyone. BCP Council’s original idea was to do what it does in Bournemouth and Poole which is put in parking metres and have traffic wardens patrolling. But people did not want that.”

Cllr Dedman pointed out that there are four car parks in the area, some costing just 70p for the whole day.

Cllr Lesley Dedman - taken from BCP Council profile (55365978)
Cllr Lesley Dedman - taken from BCP Council profile (55365978)

It is anticipated the measures could be in place by July.

There has been mixed reaction to the proposals on social media. One person said: “Thank goodness. No more cars driving along the pavement trying to pass each other nearly knocking my kids over.”

Another said: “It’s not preventing people from going to the beach but preventing dangerous parking in a few critical areas before someone gets seriously hurt.”

But one mum complained: “I have three children under six. It was a nice local privilege in the colder months, when I didn’t want to walk my young family 30 minutes to the beach, to be able to park my car for free close by.”

Another said: “It sounds like to me the local snobbery has struck again, and those that have the extreme privilege to live a minute’s walk from the beach have won their battle to rid the local ‘riff raff’ from their area.”

The proposals can be viewed at www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/highwayconsultations

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