More than 500 drivers fined for parking at Dovestone Reservoir

More than 500 fines have been handed out to drivers parking illegally at Dove Stone Reservoir since double yellow lines and traffic restrictions were introduced last month.

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.

Town hall chiefs and police said they were forced to take action after motorists ‘continually ignored’ existing parking restrictions around the reservoir.

From June 6, double yellow lines were marked along both sides of A635 Holmfirth Road, with anyone parking illegally on the stretch facing a hefty £70 fine.

There are already existing central double white lines on the road, which means people face getting points on their licence and a police fine if they park on them, but this had not proved a deterrent.

A meeting of the full council 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.

Saddleworth North Councillor George Hulme said the council had acted quickly to paint double yellows after a weekend of ‘unacceptable parking behaviour by a minority of visitors’ to the reservoir.

“Unfortunately we are still receiving reports of double and pavement parking on the A635 and other local roads which can make it really difficult for residents to get in and out of their homes,” he added.

“How can we encourage people to keep fit and enjoy the countryside in a socially distanced manner without overwhelming beauty spots like Dovestone and what more can the council do to tackle this antisocial behaviour by people who should know better?”

Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, Coun Barbara Brownridge 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 everyday at the beauty spot.

“We very much sympathise with the residents with the problems that have been caused by the popularity of Dovestones and the surrounding area,” Coun Brownridge told the meeting.

“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 TRO’s (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.

“Enforcement action regularly takes place, and 514 fixed penalty notices have been issued since June 7.”

Coun Brownridge added that they urge visitors to Dovestone to ‘act responsibly, respect the surroundings and clean up after yourselves’.

They also recommend visiting other green spaces in the borough, including the Pennine Bridleway, Alexandra Park, Dunwood Park, local trails such as Oldham Way, Medlock Valley way and the Crompton circuit.

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