Parking “nightmare” in the streets where households have “up to six cars” each
Parking has become a “nightmare” for people living in a part of Liverpool where some households have “up to six cars” each.
Tensions are high in the Dales area off Smithdown Road, which is the most densely populated area of the city due to the high number of HMOs.
Roads in the area have become very congested with parked cars, making it difficult for people to find a parking space near their homes.
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Some residents reported that cars were parked on sidewalks and on street corners, forcing school children, as well as people in wheelchairs and parents with strollers, to walk in the middle of the road.
Siobhan, 53, who has lived in the area for 31 years, fears the large number of cars in the area will prevent emergency services from accessing homes.
She said the parking problem is bad on her road as people have resorted to parking in the handicapped place she has for her son.
Siobhan told ECHO: “The problem we have is when you have cars parked on either side, if you have a car going up and down the road no one can pass. Then we have dead ends and Arguments and road rage all the time.It’s a nightmare.
“It’s not just parking to be honest. It’s townhouses, they’re not built for that number of HMOs. It’s not just parking, it’s garbage, it’s noise .
“I’ve often considered moving, but I think – why should I? I raised my family here. I have great neighbours.
“The relationship between students and permanent residents is at an all-time low, I would say, because I think people are really sick of it all; sick of the noise and the parking and the garbage.”
Siobhan would like the council to impose a one-way system in the Dales area to ease traffic, but admits there is no simple solution to parking problems.
According to traffic laws, people are not allowed to use parking cones or wheelie bins to reserve a parking spot outside their property.
However, Nicole Austin, who is a third-year media student at the University of Liverpool, said she saw residents putting wheelie bins in the space outside their homes.
Nicole, 23, said: “The biggest thing that annoys me is that I talk like a real Karen, but people always reserve the parking spaces. They literally put bins in the space.
“A few days ago everyone woke up and everyone’s cars had been scratched.
“Our house gets along with everyone. I’ve spoken to a few other people and they’re strange people – they write a bad name for everyone.”
Nicole said that of the six people she lives with, two of them have cars, including herself, which they use to get to and from work on weekends.
She said: “We work in hospitality. I can’t go home on Friday and Saturday without a car. If there was a 24-hour bus, I’d get it 100%. That’s so expensive to take a taxi that I can’t afford it.”
However, Nicole admits that not all students need to bring their car with them to college, depending on the circumstances.
Jenny Curtis, 70, is another longtime Dales area resident who fears the parking situation has gotten worse.
Jenny said: “Since covid I think it’s 10 times worse because the students are all coming in with their toy cars and they’re not aware that there are residents on the road who need to be parked outside their house or near their home when they have families.
“The house next to me has seven students, they actually don’t have cars. The six in front have six cars, but they’re obviously medical students working different shifts, so that’s understandable.
“It’s other students who park their cars and don’t use them for a week. If you had a one-way system on those roads, it would kind of stop people using it as a shortcut, which the people.
“The worst road is Garmoyle Road, people always use it as a shortcut. You have children going to Greenbank school or St Clare school or even coming back from Calderstones – they have to walk down the road because that there are cars are actually parked at the corner of the sidewalks, and if you have a buggy or a wheelchair, you’re out of luck.”
Alex, 25, studies medicine at the University of Liverpool and lives in a five-bed HMO, four of the occupants of which have cars.
As medical students, Alex said they could be placed in Merseyside hospitals and doctor’s surgeries, which are often difficult to reach by public transport.
Alex told ECHO: “I think more students than last year have cars.
“We need to have cars for placement – for us it’s a necessity, but I can see why people would be annoyed, let’s say if [others] you don’t necessarily need to have a car.”
What action is Liverpool City Council taking
Liverpool City Council told ECHO it was set to carry out a review of the area to determine whether a number of options, including a one-way system, would be appropriate.
A council spokesman said: “As part of the review, we will also consider whether waiting restrictions are needed at strategic locations (such as around junctions) to prevent vehicles from parking in unsafe places. / inconvenient and to allow turning maneuvers at intersections.”
The board was unable to confirm a timeline as to when this review will be conducted.
One solution that was suggested to ECHO by some locals was the introduction of parking permits.
However, all residents who can be registered as living under a permit parking program and have a vehicle registered to their address would be eligible for a permit, whether or not they live in an HMO.
Greenbank councilor James Roberts told ECHO that “the sheer concentration of HMOs” in the area contributes to the parking problem, which the council has already taken steps to curb with the introduction of Section 4.
Under Section 4, owners who wish to convert homes into HMOs of five bedrooms or less must seek permission from the council to do so.
However, with so many houses having been converted to HMOs before Section 4 came into force, a large student population remains in the area.
Cllr Roberts said a ‘multi-faceted approach’ is needed to address parking and traffic issues in the Dales area, which includes advice reaching out to universities in the town to encourage students to use the public transport and cycling.
He also plans to hold a meeting with the Dales Residents Group and council highway officers in the coming months to hear their views on what should be done to address this issue.
Cllr Roberts said: “These are old streets, Victorian streets that were never designed for so many personal and private motor vehicles. Part of the solution is to reduce the total number of vehicles that occupy these streets.
“Homeowners in this area are making huge profits by fitting out houses to accommodate as many students as possible so they can reap the benefits.
“I’m very sensitive to the way the students are treated by the owners in this area. At the same time, it’s a mixed community – we have old people, we have young people, families, children, everyone everyone must get along.
“I think it works really well as a mixed community. The problem is when these things start to happen, you have to identify what the real issues are and try to make sure you bring the community together rather than dividing people. “