Council accused of sparking gridlock
COUNCIL bosses have been accused of unnecessarily gridlocking the roads leading to Newquay’s premier surfing beach, which has caused road rage incidents and near misses.
Residents have criticised Cornwall Council for causing congestion after allowing motorists to park along one side of Headland Road and both sides of parts of the lower section of Tower Road between May 1 and September 30.
The situation has resulted in a regular build up of traffic as vehicles travelling up and down the roads attempt to negotiate through a single carriageway.
There have reportedly been numerous incidents of stand-offs between motorists refusing to back down along Headland Road, and one allegedly ending in a fist fight.
Residents are especially concerned though as they believe the emergency services would not be able to get through if there was an incident at Fistral Beach.
They are now calling for the cars to be banned from being permitted to park along the congestion hotspots during the winter months so traffic can flow more easily. The situation is eased between May and September as parking restrictions are in place.
Taxi driver Gary Collins said: “A lot of times Headland Road is blocked because cars can park along one side during the winter.
“On half a dozen occasions there has been absolute gridlock and cars have had to drive up on pavements to try and sort the situation out themselves, which is dangerous for pedestrians.
“The gridlock has caused frayed tempers. These unnecessary incidents could escalate and get out of control through no fault of the individual. It is just bad planning by the highways department. Someone could easily get injured.
“There would have been no chance of getting emergency vehicles to Fistral during half-term if there was an incident because the road was so congested. There was no lifeguard cover at the beach either.
“Fistral is a wonderful beach attracting thousands of people to come here and has just been named the second best beach in the country. It is a ludicrous situation that is being allowed to happen by the council. It makes no sense whatsoever to allow people to park along Headland Road. There is no need.
“It is the craziest thing I know about in the town at the moment. There is access to other beaches in the area. The situation is beyond belief.”
John Lines, a retired taxi driver, said: “We have never had it so bad along Tower Road, from Sydney Road up to the garage.
“Vehicles being permitted to park on both sides causes a bottleneck. Something needs to be done as a lot of the traffic runs into town from the Gannel Link Road and goes to Fistral.
“I have had a hip replacement and trying to cross the road is a nightmare. People drive too fast, especially in the morning. At some point someone is going to be run over.
“On one occasion I was trying to get my shopping out of the car and I was shouted at by a motorist for being in the way.
“We do not want parking taken away, just on one side of the road. Going down on the right hand side we need double yellow lines in place. The council is talking about implementing residents’ parking permits between 9am and 5pm but it will be a waste of time for us because a lot of people park along our road to visit The Red Lion after 5pm.
“Headland Road is just as bad. All this has been brought on by the council taking free parking away opposite The Atlantic Hotel and around the Huer’s Hut
“I also think the parking problems have arisen as the council has given too many planning permissions to build flats. There are not enough parking spaces.”
- 1st March 2017 23:19
- Make all the near-empty car parks free for residents throughout the quieter season (September - May). This will make our roads safer and allow residents to use the facilities they pay for through high council tax rates.
- 2nd March 2017 13:51
- It´s a nightmare trying to get to Fistral, why don´t the council listen to residents. The could open up a new road to Pentire!! Cars parked on Mount Wise also causing tail backs. want until all the New houses are finished with all there cars acting to congestion.
- 2nd March 2017 15:52
- Move the golf course. Part develop, new roads to pentire, circular One way. Make Tower Road One way half way down.Build bridge accross Gannel River to link Crantock, Build new housing.
- 10th March 2017 05:48
- Peter Hughes is right. Sell off the golf course - £50 Million worth of local assets costing the club (and giving ratepayers) just thousands a year! Move the course, put in a through road from north to south with free parking on both sides, make a large open grassed park with perhaps a central community centre or better still, an international conference centre that returns to the community. Its a no-brainer. Lets make local use of our assets, not allowing them to be abused.