Penrith estate parking problems

Date: Wednesday 3rd January 2018

Sir, It appears that after many years of forbearance, the owner of NBM, the company which provides Penrith’s bus service, has had to make a council representative aware of a problem that has been aggravating and frustrating drivers and passengers for far too long (Herald, 16th December).

I remember the difficulty experienced by the council before NBM took up the challenge, and a real challenge it has proved to be. I feel the company has been let down by the council’s reluctance to tackle the abuse of some of our residential areas by those who use them as free parking lots. Driving through the heavy congestion which has now, hopefully, reached its peak on the Wetheriggs estate, for example, must be a nightmare for coach drivers.

The problem is by no means recent in origin. Shortly after the so-called traffic calming humps were installed on the estate, I was one of several residents from Mayburgh and Huntley avenues who complained at a meeting about the traffic hazards posed by irresponsible parking near road junctions at the top and bottom of Mayburgh Avenue.

Even then, making a left turn on to Huntley Avenue was hazardous, as vehicles parked on the left side of the road obscured the view for motorists wishing to access their homes, the primary school or points beyond. Head-on collisions were a distinct possibility, as those turning left were automatically on the wrong side of the road.

As I informed the meeting, a safer alternative route, via Netherend Road and the short street up to Huntley Avenue, was made possible by the yellow lines at the junction opposite the primary school. I recall asking why the same protection was not provided at the much busier junctions on Mayburgh, where I lived at that time.

Since Mayburgh, Huntley and Holmeriggs avenues became part of the route followed by NBM coaches on the town service, I have witnessed the shunting of buses back and forth across Wetheriggs Lane, between the entrance to Ullswater College and Mayburgh Avenue, as the drivers struggled to line up their vehicles to avoid cars parked on both sides of the avenue. This, incidentally, has the narrowest entrance of the foursome, Wetheriggs Lane, Castle Drive, Holmeriggs and Mayburgh, in descending order of width. There are yellow lines at the wider road entrances; surely, there should be ones on the narrower pair — they are on the town bus route, after all.

On more than one occasion, drivers have had to ask their Mayburgh or Huntley/Holmeriggs passengers to alight at the bottom of Mayburgh Avenue, because the congestion made access impossible at peak periods. These used to be at pre and post-school times, but can now occur at any time in the working day.

Moving house in 2015 alleviated the problem somewhat for my wife and I; but I find the entrance to Netherend Road, where we now reside, is every bit as dangerous at the extremes of Mayburgh Avenue. In fact, from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5-30pm, approximately, it is necessary for drivers entering Netherend Road from Mayburgh Avenue to drive on the wrong side of the road for 50 metres, or more, due to both illegal and irresponsible parking of up to 13 or 14 cars in an unbroken line. I have a photograph of one car parked a mere four yards from the junction — considerably less than the legal limit. Head-on confrontations here are common. Yours etc,

T. COUSIN

Netherend Road,

Penrith.