Hoghton residents plea over beauty spot after surge in day trippers

Locals have expressed concerns about large numbers of people visiting at a popular spot and blocking the road with poorly parked cars.

Friday, 29th May 2020, 4:17 pm
Cars were parked along the pavement on Chapel Lane

Viaduct Road, at Preston's Hoghton Bottoms, has seen cars flocking to the area in recent weeks, causing congestion and upset to local residents who can't leave their homes.

Rob Quail, 47, lives along the narrow lane and says the lockdown restrictions have brought huge numbers of walkers to the area, near Hoghton Tower, which has been distressing for him and his family.

"Visitors are coming down with cool boxes and staying for hours and there's groups of separate families with none of them social distancing," he said.

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The bridge on Viaduct Road was almost unaccessible

"I know it might sound like the residents are moaning, but if you took a look at what’s going on at the height of the visitors you’d be shocked.

"I'm fed up of the abuse and my family are really upset at the moment."

In a bid to control the irresponsible parking, Rob spent over £50 of his own money on traffic cones and signs, which he claims have been "laughed off" by visitors.

"I saw a couple laughing at my traffic cones outside the driveway. They appear to know what’s going on but it feels they are getting what they want by driving the locals potty with their behaviour.

Cars parked poorly meant there was no room for the residents' vehicles

"It’s like a free for all and behave how I want mentality."

In one particular Facebook video shared by Rob, a group of teenagers can be seen shouting abuse at him and his neighbour as they trespass through their garden when walking in the area.

He confessed his family have had to deal with people repeatedly walking through his property, taking pictures and videos of his garden. He is now making enquires about having gates installed on his driveway to prevent what he claims is an 'invasion of my privacy'.

Another resident of Viaduct Road, Jeanette Hindle, has already filed a report with the Lancashire Police. She said: "It's dangerous. No emergency services could get through if they needed too and it's gridlocked with cars approaching from both directions.

Cars blocked the pavement on Chapel Lane

"Seems someone has to get hurt before action will be taken. It makes you laugh because people claim they want to exercise and go for a walk but can't bear to park more than 100 metres away from the footpath and most just walk to the waterfall and back, which is less than half a mile.

"My daughter even phoned 101 but they just told her that if an emergency vehicle needed to get through, they would. The police just asked me to fill out an online form which I did and I've heard nothing since."

Cars have also been seen lining down nearby Chapel Lane, forcing families with young children to walk in the middle of the road.

A spokesperson from the Lancashire police said: “We are aware of neighbourhood concerns about the parking and will monitor the situation going forward.

“The local policing team will be out in the area over the weekend and take any action where deemed necessary.”

Lancashire County Council have been contacted for a comment.