A new parking layout for Chorley town centre’s Market Street has been slammed as “plain crazy”.
Chorley Council is opening up the former pedestrianised street to one-way traffic again this month on a trial basis.
But people say proposed new car parking bays for drivers wanting use nearby shops and businesses are angled the wrong way.
A motorist wanting to park up will have to drive past the ‘herring bone’-style bay and reverse in, instead of simply driving forward into it.
Lancashire County Council, which is carrying out the work, has defended the plans, saying they are safer that way, and that it is following Government guidelines.
Chorley resident Graham Archer said: “This seems plain crazy to me. This is essentially a ‘drive through’ parking area and will inevitably have pedestrians around.
“Cars will have to drive past a parking spot, reverse and back into it. Any vehicle behind will have to stop or back up while this manoeuvre takes place. Could this be an accident waiting to happen?”
Malcolm Allen, chairman of Chorley Traders’ Alliance, said the county council insisted on the format, and said that rather delay it any longer by arguing the point, it was best to get it done before Christmas.
The scheme will be subject to a 12-month trial, during which residents are invited to give their comments.
Andrew Burrows, Lancashire County Council’s highways manager for Chorley, said: “The new parking bays on Market Street have been designed according to guidance from the Department for Transport.
“Angled bays are arranged to encourage drivers to reverse into them, which is safer than reversing out into the flow of traffic when visibility may be restricted by vehicles parked alongside.”
Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council: “Initially the plan Chorley Council proposed was to include drive-in spaces on Market Street as we believed this was the easiest for motorists.
“However, Lancashire County Council carried out a safety review and deemed it was necessary for vehicles to reverse into the spaces and drive out.
“Obviously the safety of motorists and pedestrians is very important and while we still had some reservations, we accepted their decision in order not to delay the project any further.”