drivers who are flouting traffic laws are putting people’s lives at risk.
Stamford Town Partnership, which comprises councillors, business people and volunteers, is calling on motorists to stop driving along High Street in Stamford and parking illegally near Wilkinson and Tesco.
The partnership’s urban group installed benches in the area, following a two year £20,000 project, and its chairman Don Lambert said people sitting on the benches are being put at risk by reversing cars, which shouldn’t be parked there in the first place.
There are three allocated disabled spaces outside Wilkinson but from there, the rest of High Street can be used only between 4pm and 10am by disabled badge holders and for loading.
During the day, between 10am and 4pm, drivers should not be there at all except for severely disabled people with a green badge or those with a special permit.
Mr Lambert said: “The danger is that if people are sitting on the benches having lunch or with their children - and using them as they were intended - they could get hit by a car.
“Young people and elderly people using the pedestrian area are not safe. We do not want to wait until an accident occurs before action is taken.”
The urban group believes a sign stating the rules outside Wilkinson is misleading and Mr Lambert said: “These restrictions are being completely ignored.
“It is chaos at times and we are worried someone could get seriously hurt.
“Safety is what we are concerned about and there should be no exceptions for drivers or commercial vehicles.”
He believes that even those who read the sign find it confusing.
The urban group has approached Lincolnshire County Council about the possibility of changing the sign to make it clearer for drivers. The group has also raised the issue with police, who can issue fines.
The benches were installed in December and within 24 hours, they had been hit by a car. Another bench has also been struck by a car and a lamp-post was hit at the weekend.
Mr Lambert said there was “cosmetic” damage to the bench but warned it could have been worse if someone had been sitting there.
County council area highways manager Kevin Brumfield said: “The sign was of a national standard that have featured in the national Highway Code for many years.
“It would be highly surprising if drivers did not know what the signs meant,” he said. “Even if they do not know, the words ‘pedestrian zone’ and ‘no vehicles’ should be clear enough for people.”
The county council is due to take over parking enforcement later this year.
Mr Brumfield added: “This means that we can prosecute those who park illegally. These people make it much harder for others who genuinely need to use the parking spaces provided.”
Stamford Town Council also discussed the issue at a meeting on Tuesday.
The town partnership is running a survey to find out people’s opinions on the sign.