RESIDENTS in a Dorchester road say they have been let down by Dorset Council and the former county council over lack of action on parking problems.

They say it has taken more than two years of asking for help, yet nothing has happened while roads nearby have been given double yellow lines.

Robin’s Garth residents say their road is often partially blocked by poor parking from town centre workers staying all day, resulting in bin lorries being unable to reach homes and, on at least one occasion, an ambulance being unable to get into the close.

They have now taken to putting out their own traffic cones on bin days to ensure the lorries get access – rather than have to wait an extra two weeks for collections each time the refuse vehicles fail to get down the road.

The residents’ association say they were told two years ago by the former Dorset County Council that the road had been ‘overlooked’ for double yellow lines, but was on a waiting list. Now residents are again campaigning for some action – claiming that Dorset Council is reluctant to commit to the lines, although the council say the road has not been forgotten and is still on a waiting list.

One resident who tackled a motorist parking on the corner of the road at the junction with Culliford Road, partially blocking the access, was told by the driver to ‘get a life.’

Dorchester Town Council is now to ask the highways department at Dorset Council to come to a future meeting and explain why some roads are given priority for parking orders while others are not – and to explain what is being done to tackle the lack of parking throughout the county town.

Robin’s Garth Residents association member David Johnson told town councillors this week that all the residents at their annual meeting supported the plea for yellow lines at the junction and on the north side of the close.

He said that Dorset Council had told him the road was still on the list, which runs to around 500 sites, but the officer he spoke to admitted it was not a priority. He said while the highways team had said this on the telephone they were reluctant to confirm the situation in writing. He said the poor parking not only caused difficulties for refuse vehicles but also for day to day deliveries and for residents who needed to get a vehicle close to their home either because they were less physically able or have young children.

Cllr Molly Rennie says that a meeting was planned about parking issues throughout the town last summer by Dorset Council but was cancelled at the last minute and has not been re-arranged.

Support for the Robin’s Garth residents came from Cllr Stella Jones. She said poor parking, because of a lack of space, was a problem throughout the town, especially where people left their vehicles too close to corners.

Cllr Fiona Kent-Ledger said that parking in Dorchester needed to be tackled as a strategy, not on a road by road basis.

Cllr Molly Rennie warned that the problem was also spreading – with roads further away from the town centre now being affected on a daily basis by town centre workers reluctant to pay a parking fee. She said parts of Manor Park which were not previously used for day-long parking were now being used . Cllr Les Fry said he had been campaigning to help residents in Fourgates and other roads off Damers Road because of the problems. He said the day-long parking issue was now also affecting parts of the Duchy’s Poundbury estate, closest to the town centre.