Boston’s police inspector has decried the layout of the new-look Market Place, saying changes have made the area dangerous and confusing.
Insp Dave Rimmer said it was not very user-friendly – which he suggested could be the reason behind the parking disorder evident since the area reopened in May.
Officers recently ticketed cars parked illegally on the Market Place after they were asked to help tackle the problem.
Insp Rimmer said: “The new set out is confusing to those using it and dangerous with there not being a defined road through the middle of it.
“However, there are signs up there that say there is only parking in designated bays, so if people contravene that they can expect to get a ticket.”
Parking has been an issue since May, when the Market Place was re-opened following an extensive £2 million regeneration and the number of spaces was reduced by 70.
Boston Borough Council, which runs car parks around the town, has no jurisdiction over parking in the area. It is hoped the situation will improve when the county council takes control of on-street civil parking enforcement.
In a joint statement from Boston Borough Council and Lincolnshire County Council, a spokesman said: “It is expected that any scheme of this nature will inevitably have a settling-in period as users become accustomed to the changes. In essence the concept of a shared space is that all highway users should interact with other users accordingly and that no one user has priority over the other.
“The absence of road markings is one of the major changes to the Market Place since completion of the regeneration scheme. The parking spaces are clearly defined as are the footways, whereas the vehicular ‘route’ through was intended to be subtle to avoid drivers assuming priority within the space. Additional markings alone would not prevent irresponsible manoeuvres and physical measures are not part of the concept of a shared space.
“Furthermore, the Market Place is designated as a Restricted Zone which precludes the use of yellow lines. The County Council continues to work with the Borough Council to monitor the situation and take appropriate measures; for instance, additional signage is being designed which will feature a colour-coded plan advising drivers of the locations of designated parking bays.”