Businesses, buses, pedestrians and motorists united to say: ‘Sort the Market Place mess out’

Cars are regularly found parked outside marked bays in Boston's new look Market Place. GG

Cars are regularly found parked outside marked bays in Boston's new look Market Place. GG

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CONFUSION reigns over traffic and parking in Boston Market Place with concerns for public safety – and the authorities are offering no immediate hope of resolving the situation.

Illegal parking, pedestrians feeling unsafe and vehicles causing obstructions are a daily occurrence in the £2 million revamped Market Place.

And now people are calling for authorities to take action – and take responsibility.

An online poll on The Standard’s Facebook page showed 111 people (91 per cent) thought the situation was ‘chaos’, while just 11 respondents believed people would get used to the new layout.

Some pedestrians feel it is a real danger and say they struggle to find a safe way across.

“You take your life in your hands when walking across the Market Place,” said Boston BID manager Niall Armstrong. “Something needs to be done to direct traffic there, and what is needed is enforcement.”

We put the concerns to the borough and county councils and police – with all three claiming their hands are tied.

A spokesman for Boston Borough Council stated: “We have authority within the marked bays, but outside the marked bays the police, at the moment, are the responsible authority.”

A spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) echoed the comments, saying it is a ‘police responsibility’.

A police spokesman said officers will continue to monitor the situation – stating 40 tickets had been issued since July.

But they added: “We are aware that problems in the Market Place are a cause of great concern to residents, traders and visitors to the town and we give the area as much attention as possible, balanced against competing demands for police resources.”

The enforcement of on-street parking, which includes non-marked areas of the Market Place, is to be handed to the county council in October.

The Standard has received numerous complaints, letters and online comments about the situation, with many concerned about pedestrian safety.

“It’s a farce,” said Brylaine Travel’s operations manager Malcolm Wheatley. “The area is not properly delineated for drivers and you have pedestrians, cyclists and cars all over the place.

“We consider the situation to be unsafe for all users.”

Seventh Heaven Café, which recently added an attractive street café seating area, said they are being ‘blocked in’ by the illegal parking.

“This is affecting us,” said owner Karolina Rusin. “We need a traffic warden.”

Mrs M. Peatling wrote in to say: “I am terrified crossing from one side to the other. Motorists and cyclists come at us poor pedestrians from all angles. Parking is abysmal.”

Another felt the Market Place was ‘an accident waiting to happen’ and added: “Parking and traffic in the area is a mess. What are the rules?”

The Standard set up an online vote via our Facebook page, where we asked if people felt action needed to be taken. 111 voted ‘yes’ and just 11 voted ‘no’.

Daphne Firth commented: “It’s mad, waiting for the accident to happen”, while Pauline Amanda Wright wrote: “It’s a free for all! Pedestrians have to tackle three-four lanes of traffic. It’s an absolute nightmare.”

Even the borough council itself was caught parking outside the bays, with one of its vehicles parked near the Five Lamps on Friday.

The photo was sent in by resident Darron Abbott, who subsequently complained to the council.

He told The Standard: “Surely the council has to abide by the rules like the rest of us? It’s double standards.”

A borough council spokesman said: “The occupants of the vehicle have now been told where they should/shouldn’t park.”

Lincolnshire County Council is to take on traffic wardens in October – but currently there are none covering the Boston area.