Police respond to safety concerns: Drivers warned to ‘refrain from illegal parking’

UUP Cllr Glenn Barr.
UUP Cllr Glenn Barr.

Police have responded to complaints about parked cars blocking the footpath at Kenlis Street, Banbridge by warning motorists to “refrain from illegal parking”.

Drivers regularly park on the pavement along the residential street, often blocking the footpath and forcing pedestrians out onto the road in order to get past.

While angry residents have highlighted similar problems in other areas of the town, it seems the situation at Kenlis Street is causing particular concern about pedestrian safety.

Indeed, a number of local residents took to the Banbridge Saints and Sinners Facebook page last week to vent their anger about the ongoing problems in the area.

One woman posted: “It’s bad enough as it is slowing traffic down to one lane, but I constantly see people with pushchairs, small children having to walk up an already dangerous road because someone’s parked their car on the footpath. The worst about it is these people don’t even live down Kenlis Street, they either work in town or park their car there and get the bus to save themselves a few quid. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt!”

Another disgruntled resident commented: “It’s definitely an accident waiting to happen; something really needs done.”

One local mum added: “It’s the worst place in the town for this. I have to bring my pram onto the road all too often. Dangerous and unnecessary.”

The residents have called on police and traffic wardens to take action in order to put a stop to the problem.

UUP Cllr Glenn Barr, who has raised the issue with the PSNI on a number of occasions in the past, has called on drivers to be more considerate when choosing where to park.

“Over the past several months I have been inundated by concerns from local residents who are having to cross the road or indeed move out onto the road to pass cars parked on the footpath along Kenlis Street.

“Parents with prams and young children and indeed wheelchair users are having to move out onto the road, which has the potential of an accident,” he said.

Urging members of the public to report any instances of parked cars blocking footpaths to the police, Cllr Barr added: “I know the PSNI have issued several parking fines here but still we have all day parkers parking on the footpath.

“I have asked both the PSNI to take more robust action here as well as requested that TransportNI take action. Both agencies need to sit down and discuss this issue as well as other issues in the area to do with parking on the footpaths.”

Responding to the concerns raised by Cllr Barr on behalf of residents, a PSNI spokesman confirmed that local police are aware of the parking issues along Kenlis Street.

“In the main, illegal parking is dealt with by Department of Infrastructure, but where illegal parking causes an obstruction, this can be dealt with by police,” he said.

“Police would advise motorists to refrain from illegal parking. Obstructive parking means that other road users and pedestrians can be faced with unnecessary dangers, creating a greater risk of harm or injury to them and other road users. If anybody believes that a car is obstructively parked they can report it on the non-emergency number 101.”