Bus operators and 'mini-police' launch campaign

Mon, July 9th, 2018

...to tackle illegal parking at bus stops

From 6 July, motorists caught parking illegally at a bus stop could be asked to explain themselves to school kids and people with disabilities, as part of a new scheme to reduce incidents at bus stops in Merseyside.

Year 5 pupils from Hatton Hill Primary School have joined forces with Merseytravel’s TravelSafe Partnership to highlight the dangers of parking illegally and how it can cause problems for passengers particularly those in wheelchairs, people with pushchairs, people using walking aids and also people with hidden disabilities such as dementia or autism.

Top hazards which are caused by illegal parking at bus stops include:

• passengers falling as they get on or off the bus
• bus drivers unable to lower the ramp for wheelchair users
• prams wheels getting caught between the bus step and kerb edge and;
• collisions between buses and parked vehicles

Motorists spotted parking illegally at bus stops during the 12 month operation will be invited on-board a bus to meet with the pupils in ‘court’, who will explain the consequences of parking illegally.

Inspector Tom Welch, from Merseyside Police Community Engagement Team said:

“This is an excellent initiative which we believe will have a massive impact on parking illegally at bus stops, which is dangerous, inconsiderate and inconvenient. Working alongside Merseytravel, we can and will change this unacceptable behaviour.

“We are so proud of our Mini Police officers and all of the positive work they do across our communities.

"And when they speak to you about your illegal parking, speeding or any other bad behaviour, you won’t forget it!”

Joining the pupils on-board will be a retired judge to explain what fines and penalties apply when parking in a bus stop and a member of the Disability Support Network who will highlight how it impacts themselves and other disabled bus users.

Emma Grange, Board Director for People First Merseyside, said:

"When people block a bus stop it can be difficult for people such as the elderly, disabled people, blind people and children because it is dangerous. It makes me angry inside when I see someone parking in a bus stop because I find it hard to get to the bus.

I’m looking forward to being involved in this project as it’s important to raise awareness."

Any motorist who refuses to take part in the program could find themselves on a one day driving awareness course, paying a £30 fine or even end up in court.

Bus operators from across the region are signed up to the initiative, including the Liverpool City Region Bus Alliance.
Arriva is the first bus operating company to take part.

Lisa Pearson, Head of Marketing, Arriva NW & Wales said:

“We were delighted to be invited to take part in this programme as indiscriminate parking in bus stops can not only lead to incidents, but can cause distress for our passengers if they cannot board or alight a bus safely. It can also have an impact on the reliability of our services. We’re looking forward to seeing the positive impact this will have on our passenger’s journeys.”

The project starts in Sefton on Friday 6 July and will run for 12 months. To see our mini-police in action, click here.

For more information on the Travel Safe Partnership please visit: https://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/getting-around/TravelSafe/Pages/default.aspx

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