Tremadog residents living in fear of a “dangerous” parking situation in the heart of the town say they are frustrated by the council’s “ludicrous” claim that it “isn’t a big issue”.
Kevin Tiernan and his parents have all felt the effects of the parking problem, which has seen them being hit by cars, forced to face oncoming traffic to get their cars out of their house and left his disabled mother “afraid” to leave her house.
Mr Tiernan said: “In the town square, between The Union and The Fleece pubs, you have a central reservation, cars park on that central reservation which you’re not meant to do.
“My dad almost had a head on collision recently. He lives behind The Fleece - if cars have blocked the central reservation, he has to drive straight into oncoming traffic to get out if he wants to go to Porthmadog.
“There’s still a mark on a tree after a guy hit my dad with a Land Rover about 18 months ago. He hit the back of my dad’s car, spun off and hit the tree.
“It’s a dangerous situation, how you can say it’s not dangerous is a bit of a joke. If that had been my disabled mother on her scooter, she’d be dead.
“It’s ludicrous to think there isn’t a problem there. It never used to be a problem - people didn’t park there.
“I got onto the traffic department when the problem began about three or four years ago. They agreed that they would paint a yellow diamond grid over the area so that police can officiate it.”
Mr Tiernan contacted Gwynedd Council’s highways department and Cllr June Jones when the problem first began.
Mr Tiernan says the highways department originally agreed the situation was problematic and they would paint a yellow grid over the reservation, making it illegal for people to park there.
But no grid came and in the years since, the number of cars parking on the reservation has grown.
Mr Tiernan has received an email from Gwynedd Council’s senior traffic officer Andrew Gregson, saying: “The drivers who park in this site have not broken the law, and they don’t create a massive problem to the safety of the road’s other users.
“In the past, it has been recommended that yellow lines are placed to discourage drivers from parking there but our feeling is that this will only move the problem elsewhere.”
Cllr Jones told the Cambrian News: “The council don’t see it as a big issue. If restrictions were put in the square itself, the problem could be pushed further out. The problem doesn’t happen everyday, it’s mainly over the weekend and on holidays. It does create a problem, especially when people park right on the junction.”
A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: “Tremadog Square is unique. Since the new bypass opened, the square has changed from forming part of a strategic highway network to a local link road.
“The square hosts many local businesses, and due to their popularity and success the demand for parking in the area has increased.
“As a local authority, road safety is of course a priority for us. However, before the council decides to place parking restrictions it is also essential that we consider the effects of the measure on local businesses.
“In this instance, officers believed that the road safety case for placing parking restrictions did not outweigh the potential adverse effects the restrictions could have on local businesses in the area.
“Of course, officers are still open to discussing potential road safety improvement measures in the area with the community.”