COUNCILLORS are to consider plans to tackle parking chaos at the Fairy Glen beauty spot in West Lancs.
The sheer number of vehicles which descend of the site, which borders Appley Bridge and Parbold, has resulted in a “serious safety problem” on one of the borough’s busiest roads.
There has been a huge increase in visitors to the beauty spot in recent months and now Lancashire County Council is proposing to introduce a ‘red route’ clearway, to prevent vehicles from stopping, waiting, or parking, along the A5209 - along which Fairy Glen sits from junction 27 of the M6 to the start of the 30mph zone to Parbold.
A report to the council’s cabinet meeting due to be held on Thursday, January 20 outlines that the number of people visiting Fairy Glen, a small woodland area, has ballooned since the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, which prompted many people to explore new places for exercise and recreation.
Fairy Glen can be accessed from the A5209 as well as a number of smaller local roads, but has no dedicated car park, resulting in a problem with large numbers of people parking along grass verges on the A5209. This has raised serious safety concerns for the visitors themselves and other traffic on what is a very busy route.
The report to the council’s cabinet outlines the results of recent public consultation on the proposals to introduce a ‘red route’ clearway, which would allow the county council to enforce parking and waiting across the whole width of the highway, including the pavements and grass verges.
County Councillor Charlie Edwards, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Since 2020, Fairy Glen has begun attracting a huge number of visitors, many from beyond the immediate local area, resulting in a serious safety problem due to people parking along what is a very busy road. Cont. on page 3
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“Our proposals to prevent parking and waiting are in response to the concerns which have been raised by local residents, Lancashire Constabulary, and West Lancashire Borough Council, which is responsible for Fairy Glen.
“Our highways officers have also carried out their own observations of the situation and agree that something needs to be done.
“We’re always working to make Lancashire’s roads safer, and I’m grateful to everyone who has contacted us about this problem, and responded to the consultation. I will be asking our cabinet to carefully consider this report which outlines the issues with parking and the responses we have received."
A 40mph speed limit was introduced on this section of the A5209 in November 2021 – the road was previously derestricted and subject to the national speed limit of 60mph.