HUNDREDS of motorists, including taxi drivers, continue to flout new parking restrictions introduced to alleviate traffic chaos at Dovestone Reservoir.
More than 800 fines have been issued to drivers parking illegally on the A635 Holmfirth Road, the reservoir site and side roads back towards Greenfield village, the Independent can reveal.
A first wave of double yellow lines were put down on June 6. Those lines and accompanying kerb markings have now been extended to the Oldham boundary with Kirklees Council.
But they have failed to act as deterrent to everyone as these latest figures and photos show: Dovestone car parks, 463; Holmfirth Road, 326; Tunstead Lane, 5; Hollins Lane 32.
We were also sent pictures of two illegally parked private hire vehicles, including one licenced by Oldham Council.
Separately, traffic wardens were observed ticketing offending vehicles not only in the vicinity of Dovestone and Binn Green but also in Greenfield village where lines have been extended along Manchester Road from the Clarence roundabout.
Additionally, a new safety zone is being introduced on Chew Valley Road for pupils attending St Mary’s School.
Oldham Council had used emergency powers to introduce £70 fines for motorists parking on the road to the popular beauty spot after 13,000 people visited in just three days last May.
A meeting of the full council in July was told that following its introduction, 514 fixed penalty notices had been issued for drivers parking illegally on Holmfirth Road, the main car park, and the surrounding roads.
Additionally, five penalty charge notices were issued for illegal use of barbecues but only one has been paid.
Cllr Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said the council is continuing to work with landowner United Utilities and the RSPB to find solutions to issues caused by ‘unprecedented number of visitors.’
This included funding additional marshals who are on duty every day at the beauty spot.
“We very much sympathise with the residents with the problems that have been caused by the popularity of Dovestone and the surrounding area,” said Cllr Brownridge.
“The double yellow lines recently installed on the Holmfirth Road were introduced to address the significant problematic parking which caused serious road safety and traffic congestion.
“Now that the TROs (traffic regulation orders) are in place, traffic officers have been meeting with local councillors to consider how to best manage the impact of displaced parking that is taking place in adjoining residential areas and the village of Greenfield.”
Saddleworth South councillor Graham Sheldon said: “It is quite incredible how far up the cars have been parking.
“But it is a matter of safety being able to get emergency vehicles through.”
Parish Council chair Cllr Jamie Curley said: “It is a question of balancing safety and the convenience of the residents.
“This is under regular review and monitored all the time. What we don’t want to do is push the problem further and further into Greenfield.
“Enforcement is the key to it. They will continue to do it at this pace if they need to continue to do it.”