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Hundreds voice frustrations about reverse parking from main road
MORE than 400 people have voiced their frustration at having to reverse into parking spaces from a busy main road in Northwood Hills.
Motorists have been forced to back into angled parking bays near Argyle House in Joel Street since Hillingdon Council changed the parking arrangements last year.
Some 420 residents have signed a petition urging the council to allow people to drive forwards into a bay, amid fears that 'an accident is waiting to happen'.
The petition has been organised by Winchester Road resident, Alan Lester, who is aiming to improve driver safety and maximise use of parking spaces.
Mr Lester said: "People could drive forwards to park for about 40 years until until the council changed it about a year ago, including painting white lines to designate a space.
"Now, parking bays are angled away from traffic flow, requiring drivers to reverse into them.
"This puts stress on the driver, as most people find reversing into a narrow gap not an easy manoeuvre - I hate reversing into a parking space, as most normal human beings do, because it's not natural.
"The current arrangement means people often get frustrated as the traffic builds up, and many drivers are crossing the road to drive into a bay on the opposite side, which is an accident waiting to happen.
"We want the council to change the direction of the bays so people can drive forwards, without worrying other drivers breathing down their neck, then when leaving the bay, they can wait for a break in traffic before slowly and safely reversing out.
"Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner MP, Nick Hurd, and Deputy Mayor of London, Councillor Richard Barnes (Harefield, Con), have also expressed their support, and its great they are willing to get involved."
The petition has also been backed by the Northwood Hills Residents' Association (NHRA).
NHRA chairman, Andrew Riley, said: "Some people are driving in a forward direction from the other side of the road. This is extremely dangerous as drivers simply cannot see oncoming traffic."
Mr Lester says he was told by Hillingdon Council that the parking changes were based on a directive from the Department of Transport.
It suggests that because angled bays encourage motorists to reverse into them, when they pull out of the spaces, they are able to see other traffic more easily.
Mr Lester added: "It seems like the council is just covering its back, as it will get the blame if there is an accident."
Head of transportation and planning policy at Hillingdon Council, Jales Tippell, said: "There were no formal parking bays in Joel Street prior to the successful introduction of the popular 'stop and shop' scheme, which created free short term parking that benefits both residents and businesses.
"Reversing into on coming traffic is unsafe and against the Highway Code. The bays were designed in recognition of this, reflecting both common sense and current national road safety design standards, and were fully endorsed by the police."
What do you think? Email Gazette reporter Siba Matti at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.
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