Parking to be banned near popular local beauty spot which has seen huge rise in visitors since Covid lockdowns

A 'red route' clearway to stop day-trippers parking along one of Wigan's busiest roads due to a huge increase in visitors to a beauty spot has been proposed.

By Our Reporter
Monday, 17th January 2022, 5:48 pm
The Fairy Glen has seen interest in the tucked-away site boom during lockdown

Since the start of lockdown, the number of people visiting the Fairy Glen, a small woodland beauty spot, has ballooned.

Now Lancashire County Council is proposing to introduce a 'red route' clearway, to prevent vehicles from stopping, waiting, or parking, along Hall Lane, the A5209 from junction 27 of the M6 to the start of the 30mph zone on the way into Parbold.

A report into the extra traffic, which has caused chaos at weekends and bank holidays, will be heard at the council's cabinet meeting due to be held on Thursday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The entrance to the Glen is difficult to find

Fairy Glen can be accessed from the A5209 as well as a number of smaller local roads, but has no dedicated car park, resulting in a problem with large numbers of people parking along grass verges on the A5209. This has raised serious safety concerns for the visitors themselves and other traffic on what is a very busy road.

The report to the council's cabinet outlines the results of recent public consultation on the proposals to introduce a 'red route' clearway, which would allow the county council to enforce parking and waiting across the whole width of the highway, including the pavements and grass verges.

County Coun Charlie Edwards, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Since 2020 Fairy Glen has begun attracting a huge number of visitors, many from beyond the immediate local area, resulting in a serious safety problem due to people parking along what is a very busy road.

"Our proposals to prevent parking and waiting are in response to the concerns which have been raised by local residents, Lancashire Constabulary, and West Lancashire Borough Council, which is responsible for Fairy Glen. Our highways officers have also carried out their own observations of the situation and agree that something needs to be done.

The verges of Hall Lane, the A5209 up towards Parbold Hill have been churned into mud. Pic Google

"We're always working to make Lancashire's roads safer, and I'm grateful to everyone who has contacted us about this problem, and responded to the consultation. I will be asking our cabinet to carefully consider this report which outlines the issues with parking and the responses we have received."

A 40mph speed limit was introduced on this section of the A5209 in November 2021 – the road was previously derestricted and subject to the national speed limit of 60mph.