Community calls for end to taxi troubles on Uppermill High Street

A COMMUNITY leader is calling a mini summit over growing traffic chaos caused by illegal parking in Uppermill.

Frustrated travellers and locals have taken to social media to highlight issues over private hire cars double-parking in the thronged village at weekends.

Traffic chaos on Uppermill High Street (Picture by Michael Thornley)

In a bid to alleviate the traffic problems caused by the village’s growing night-time economy, a taxi rank was created for Hackney carriage licensed vehicles in the Square.

But locals say these remain almost unused and private hire cars, many touting for business, still double-park near popular eateries and bars further along High Street.

Now Cllr Adrian Alexander, chair of Saddleworth and Lees District Executive, plans to hold a public meeting to try to stem the problem.

He said: “This congestion is a bedevilling problem and I’m very conscious of the locals’ frustrations. I’m determined to try to find a solution.”

Michael Thornley, from Greenfield, said his partner Louise Barker was nearly knocked over by a car entering High Street recently.

He explained: “The driver could not see for cars parked on both sides and people struggling to get through.

“There needs to be unannounced licensing attendants masquerading as punters to stop this behaviour before somebody gets hurt.

“I have noticed the increasing frustration by people at the taxis who blatantly flout the law and double-park opposite the pubs waiting for chance fares.”

Royce Franklin, chair of Saddleworth Parish Council’s traffic and transport sub-committee, said: “Uppermill is the most-used village in Saddleworth. In a sense it is the victim of its own success.

“We are listening and are anxious to find a solution which satisfies the parking needs of all – everyone needs somewhere to park.

“There have been two parking reviews in the past five years. I cannot see a further review will serve any purpose.

“However, Councillor Alexander is arranging a public meeting and any suggestions would be most welcome.”

Saddleworth and Lees Police Team on the High Street with licence officers (Picture thanks to GMP Saddleworth and Lees)

The Saddleworth and Lees Policing Team took to the streets over recent weekends to try to address the issue.

They said: “The team have been working with officers from Taxi Licencing enforcing regulations along the High street at Uppermill.

“A number of vehicles have been stopped and various measures implemented by the licensing team.

“We will be having other enforcement days in the run into the Christmas period.”

Cllr Lesley Brown first highlighted problems with the hackney carriage rank being placed in the square.

She said: “However, moving the bay to the museum is not the answer because it will be taking up two precious spaces. Where are the traffic wardens?”

Oldham Cllr John McCann promised an investigation and said: “Touting for business is just not safe and needs stopping and licences removed.”

 

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