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Practical Approach Needed to Tackle 'Muddy Swamps'

January 20, 2009 1:31 PM

Bedford Borough Council has been criticised for adopting a 'King Canute' approach to the issue of verge parking, simply asking people not to do it while parking problems in residential areas across the Borough escalate.

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Goldington Ward Philip Merryman challenged the Mayor and his Cabinet to take effective action to tackle the issue at a Full Council Meeting on Wednesday night.

Commenting, Cllr Merryman said: "The Council has to date taken a 'King Canute' approach to verge parking of just telling people not to do it, while the tide of cars causing real problems on local streets keeps rising.'

"Clearly it is not practical for the Council to rigorously enforce the laws against verge parking on every street because in some places there is simply no alternative. However, in turning a blind eye to the issue in all but a handful of roads, the blind eye also fails to see the mess this creates. Where enforcement is not appropriate, the Council must be prepared to take practical measures to tackle the problem of ugly, churned up verges which sadly is all too obvious on many of our local streets.'

"For example, more verges could be protected using a plastic mesh which allows grass to grow through it. Others are so narrow, serving no purpose, they could simply be replaced with a suitable hard surface. Proper parking areas could also be provided in some locations where residents are in favour and space permits.'

"By taking these measures, alongside carrying out rigorous enforcement where suitable, the council would finally begin to tackle the problem and allow residents to take the 'Pride in Bedford' that they deserve."

At the Bedford Borough Council meeting on Wednesday 14th January, Cllr Merryman asked the Mayor "Many of our grass verges are now muddy swamps churned up by parking on them. When is the council going to take a more practical approach to this problem rather than just saying that people should not do it?"