'Selfish parking' threatens bus line
THE operator of a community bus in Nailsea is threatening to withdraw the service because of inconsiderate motorists blocking the main road through the town centre.
David Fricker, who owns North Somerset Coaches, says he is considering ceasing the Nailsea town centre service after continuing problems with inconsiderate parking along the High Street.
The issue reached crisis point when the bus was unable to park in its bay outside Waitrose to drop off and collect passengers because a delivery van was parked on double yellow lines on the corner.
The driver managed to partly negotiate his way into the bay leaving the rear of the 33-seater bus jutting out into the High Street temporarily.
The fact that other traffic could not get along the High Street while the bus parked for five minutes caused a furore, with the driver being verbally abused by other motorists.
The bus service, which has been running for four years, is a popular route with many elderly people and runs twice an hour between 9.30am and 2pm, Monday to Friday.
Over the past four years the number of people using the service has increased, carrying an average of 130 passengers every day.
The bus goes from Nailsea to Backwell before going into the town centre along the High Street and then out to West End.
Mr Fricker, pictured, says there have been problems in the past with the bus being blocked from travelling up the High Street.
And he says that unless the parking regulations are enforced in the town centre he may have no choice but to withdraw the service altogether.
Mr Fricker, 29, said: "Our driver could not get into the bus bay because of a delivery van parked illegally on double yellow lines on the corner.
"He was only there for five minutes but was confronted by traders and residents who could not get past while he dropped off and collected passengers.
"We cannot continue like this and my patience with absent parking enforcement in North Somerset has now run out. My driver was placed in an unacceptable situation with a crowd of motorists baying for blood as he tried to pick up passengers as best he could.
"People are parking in a very selfish and inconsiderate manner along the High Street when there is plenty of parking available in the town and there are service roads to access the local shops.
"If the situation does not improve and the parking regulations are not properly enforced, I will have no choice but to stop running the service. This would be a great shame as a lot of people, especially the elderly, rely on it.
The responsibility of enforcing parking regulations, such as double yellow lines, lies with the police.
Nailsea beat officer, PC Adam Clarke, said: "Parking enforcement in the High Street had been made a policing priority and we have issued a number of tickets."
A site meeting was due to take place between Mr Fricker and North Somerset highways department and the problems due to be discussed by Nailsea Town Council.
A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "We are aware of this issue and our officers will be visiting the site next week with the bus operator to look at what improvements can be made there."