A councillor has apologised to people in Huntingdon because he and colleagues have been unable to find a solution to bad parking in the town.

NO ANSWER: Bad parking in HuntingdonNO ANSWER: Bad parking in Huntingdon

Councillor Ste Greenall, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats on Huntingdonshire District Council, warned that lives could be at risk because fire engines and ambulances had trouble getting through roads where vehicles were parked badly.

“I am at a loss. I really think we should be doing more to alleviate problems like these,” Cllr Greenall said. “I feel that we have let people down by not finding a solution.

“People assume that writing to a councillor we have got all the answers and we haven’t.”

The Avenue Road area is a particular hotspot with drivers parking in narrow side streets to avoid paying to use the town centre car parks and there have been problems for emergency vehicles trying to get through.

He said there were also problems in the Christie Drive area at Hinchingbrooke.

Cllr Greenall said the issue was made worse when drivers caused obstructions through bad parking, including leaving their vehicles blocking the pavement.

He said: “I, as a district councillor, have to hold my hands up and say sorry to the residents and other town and district councillors should do the same.”

Cllr Greenall said that in addition to fire engines and ambulances, large vehicles like the council’s dustcarts and buses also had problems getting through and he felt he was “banging his head on a brick wall” in trying to find a solution.

He has been in touch with Cambridgeshire police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite about the issue but was told the Huntingdon local policing team had noted the issue as a “community concern” but that it was not a matter of priority as they could not justify diverting resources without looking at other approaches led by other authorities responsible for parking.

Officers also considered that targeted enforcement had no impact on parking in the medium or long term.

Cllr Greenall said installing double yellow lines in the worst areas, backed up by enforcement, could make a difference.

He also felt having residents’ only parking in areas like Avenue Road area could help ease the problem by turning away workers and commuters who left their vehicles in side streets to avoid paying parking charges.

He said: “I have anecdotal evidence that people are parking in the town, taking a folding bike from their boot and riding to the station.”

Cllr Greeenall said he would welcome suggestions as to how the situation could be resolved.