A CONCERNED driver has described a busy access road as “an accident waiting to happen” after noticing an increase in the number of motorists trying to avoid parking charges.
Jim Blair has expressed concerns over the number of drivers parking along the section of Middleton Road, in Hartlepool, which leads from Marina Way down towards Navigation Point.
Mr Blair, who lives in the marina area, claims the number of vehicles parking nose-to-tail along the road has increased dramatically in recent months since the introduction of parking meters at Navigation Point and fears any emergency services could have problems getting to the marina during busy periods.
The 58 year old said: “It is obvious that people who are either working down at the marina or visiting the pubs and restaurants are parking on the roadside rather than paying for parking.
“As a result, you have a situation where drivers are coming down the wrong side of the road towards Navigation Point into oncoming traffic.
“On top of that, you have a blind junction where cars are leaving Navigation Point and turning left to head back towards town.
“I have seen a few near misses, and with the summer coming and more people visiting the marina, it is only going to get worse.”
The unemployed divorced dad-of-two added: “At the bottom of that road, you have the lifeboat station where they get calls at all hours.
“And what happens if there is an emergency at the marina and ambulances or fire engines can’t get down there as fast as they should because of parked cars?
“I understand why drivers avoid the meters, but I do feel some sort of restrictions need to be introduced because it is an accident waiting to happen.”
A council spokesman said: “The Council did impose some parking restrictions in Middleton Road last year following the introduction of car parking charges at Navigation Point. No concerns have been raised with us about safety on Middleton Road but we are always willing to listen to people if they get in touch.”