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From Keighley News, December 6th, 2018
Written by David Knights

STEETON residents living near Airedale Hospital could soon be spared the misery of parked cars blocking their streets. Residents-only parking zones could be introduced in Thornhill Road and surrounding streets as a result of recent changes to Bradford Council rules. News of the possible respite came as a resident described how an an ambulance could not get past parked vehicles on Tuesday last week to reach a house on an emergency call. Kath Isherwood said she had to redirect paramedics along nearby streets to reach their destination. Even though the vehicles straddled payments, they were parked on both sides making the road too narrow.

Later that morning police ticketed two vehicles and towed another away because it was allegedly not insured.

Kath said: “People at the hospital park there every day, including staff. It’s a pantomime when delivery vans or dustbin wagons arrive.”

The Thornhill Road area has long been plagued by cars parked by Airedale Hospital staff, patients and visitors who do not want to pay a fee to park within the hospital grounds. Local politicians, who are regularly approached by concerned residents, this week revealed plans to take advantage of the new council rules regarding residents-only parking.

In the past, residents-only zones were only approved in areas where less than half the residents had off-street parking. In Thornhill Road most houses have driveways.

District councillor Adrian Naylor, who represents Craven ward, said Thornhill Road appeared to be a perfect candidate for residents-only parking.

He said: “This would deal with parking displaced from the hospital, that makes residents’ lives a misery on a daily basis. I would welcome a thorough investigation into all the traffic and parking issues in the Steeton area.”

David Mullen, chairman of Steeton-with-Eastburn Parish Council, knows the problems at first hand because he lives in Thornhill Road.

He said: “Vehicles haven’t been able to get up and down on numerous occasions, or they’ve had to turn round because they can’t get through. I’m definitely in favour of residents only parking. We’ve been asking for it for a number of years.”
Cllr Mullan has been told by council officers that Thornhill Road would definitely be eligible for residents-only parking, along with a few nearby streets.

He has called for Airedale Hospital to pay the cost of creating residents-only zones, through a ‘section 106’ donation as part of its current planning application to extend its own car park.

The issue was also discussed last week at a meeting of councillors and public bodies organised by Keighley MP John Grogan to discuss traffic and planning issues in Steeton.

Mr Grogan said: “The problems of parking on Thornhill Road were graphically described to us by local residents and councillors. The solution to the problems are clear. - new staff parking at the hospital and a residents-only parking scheme.”