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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Safety plea after OAP is hit by car

Demands have been made to improve parking on Maryport’s Senhouse Street after an elderly woman was knocked down there.

The pensioner was hit by a car reversing out of a parking space at the bottom of the street last Saturday.

She was taken to the West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven.

Although she was not seriously hurt, councillors say the incident has highlighted major traffic issues in Senhouse Street.

One claimed there had been a “botch-up” of traffic planning around Maryport’s main shopping route.

Councillors have demanded that county highways bosses re-examine the street’s lay-out before someone is killed.

Peter Kendall, town and district councillor, said: “The town council has been trying for years to get the road back to what it was before it was ‘improved’.

“The road was pedestrianised but that didn’t work so they made it partially pedestrianised and then reopened it to traffic.

“But in the meantime the road was narrowed and bent, and bollards were put in.

“Angled parking was introduced at the bottom and it is no longer safe.

“As well as being difficult for traffic to negotiate, the parking bays mean that cars have to back out into a one-way system.

“So far there has not been a serious accident but that’s just a matter of time. Many cars have been bumped and scraped.”

Councillor Kendall said he had contacted the county council and said the issue would be discussed at a town council meeting next month

He has asked for a county council representative to be present.

George Kemp, Allerdale councillor in Maryport, said: “It is high time that county highways have a total rethink on traffic planning issues throughout the whole of Maryport before somebody is killed.

“Potentially every person who uses the lower Senhouse Street car parks is breaking the law by reversing down a one-way system.

“It causes huge traffic congestion and is a danger to pedestrians.

“County highways need to admit they have made a huge botch-up of our town traffic planning and put it right.”

A county council spokesman said: “The issue of whether Senhouse Street should be pedestrianised or not has been a long-running source of local debate.

“If there was a proven local appetite for this to be looked at again, then the county council would be willing to discuss it further.

“If pedestrianisation was required and desired locally, it would be a major highways programme requiring significant capital funding.

“On the issue of reversing out of parking bays, drivers are legally allowed to manoeuvre into and out of parking bays on one-way streets.”

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