Chorley 'no parking' bollards chopped down close to paid-for car park

Vandals who took a saw to bollards installed to prevent people parking on a grass verge in Chorley have been condemned for helping to deny vital car park cash to a local beauty spot.

By Paul Faulkner
Monday, 27th September 2021, 6:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 8:26 am

The pillars were put in place close to the entrance to Cuerden Valley Park in Clayton-le-Woods earlier this summer after repeated incidences of motorists mounting a grassed area off Sheep Hill Brow – and even getting bogged down in mud and needing to be pulled out.

It is thought that drivers were trying to avoid parking charges at the facility – but it seems that someone was so irked by the patch of land being blocked off that they took matters into their own hands.

Two out of the three bollards have now been cut down to their base – paving the way for the problem parking to return.

One of the hacked-down bollards close to the entrance to Cuerden Valley Park in Clayton-le-Woods (Image: Neil Cross)

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Cuerden Valley Park's parkland manager Iollan Banks says that the result of the damage goes far beyond some unsightly grassland close to the entrance.

“The money that we generate from parking goes straight back into the [maintenance of] the park itself.

“We are run by an independent charity – we don’t get any income from central or local government, so we rely on parking charges, as well as people’s donations.

County Cllr Mark Clifford and Cuerden Valley Park manager Iollan Banks on the patch of land where vehicles have previously become bogged down after parking - apparently to avoid having to pay in the facility's official car park just yards away (image: Neil Cross)

“I know it has been contentious in the past asking people to pay to park here, but every little helps. So it is disappointing that this has happened,” Mr. Banks said.

He added that some of the people who had got stuck on the grass verge had even asked the park to use its own vehicles to tow them out of trouble.

It costs £1.50 to park for two hours at Cuerden Valley Park and £5 for an entire day.

Mark Clifford – who represents Clayton with Whittle on Lancashire County Council and requested that the bollards be installed in the first place – says he was “thoroughly disgusted” to discover that the plastic street furniture had been cut down.

“What people don’t realise is that this area is county council-owned land – so I have reported it to the police as criminal damage to public property.

“Also, when vehicles get stuck, their wheels end up spinning around and digging huge trenches, which makes it nigh-on impossible for the maintenance teams to cut the grass.

“I know some people will have been annoyed when the bollards were put in place, but where does it stop – would they chop a lamp-post down [if that was in their way]?” asked County Cllr Clifford.

The county council aims to replace the bollards within three weeks. Meanwhile, anybody with information about their removal – which is thought to have happened sometime between last Thursday evening and Friday afternoon (23rd-24th September) is asked to contact Lancashire Police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference: 04/154566/21.

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