There has been an “explosion” in complaints from residents living close to Runshaw College over illegal parking - and the situation could spark a rethink about enforcement action throughout South Ribble.
It follows the closure last summer of the overspill car park at Worden Park, which for the past four years has provided spaces for around 100 students who had been issued with permits by South Ribble Borough Council.
But the authority’s leader, Paul Foster, told a recent full council meeting that the arrangement will be reviewed when the car park - which remains shut for major repair works - reopens later this year.
“There is an awful lot of damage that has been caused, unfortunately, by the students - and it’s costing this council £120,000 to put it right. I struggle to understand why the council taxpayers of South Ribble should be subsidising the car parking of Runshaw College,” Cllr Foster said.
He added that the authority wanted to see a “detailed parking strategy” to developed for the whole borough to resolve its “nightmare” parking problems.
Lancashire County Council is responsible for enforcement of on-street parking restrictions across all districts. But Buckshaw and Worden ward councillor Alan Ogilvie - who represents the area around Runshaw College - said borough councils like South Ribble needed more of a say in directing wardens to parking problem hotspots.
“There appears to have been an explosion of complaints from residents in certain areas about inappropriate parking - we’re having huge difficulties in Cairndale Drive, Dalehead Road and Lonsdale Close,” he explained.
“I’ve been in consultation with Runshaw College about how they might approach their students [regarding illegal parking] - and parents who are waiting for students in inappropriate places. People have tried but it’s not working.
“Beech Avenue, Beechfield Road and Moorfield Road are access only - but people are still parking there when they are not supposed to be.”
At a separate cabinet meeting, Cllr Ogilvie said some drivers were also “idling” - leaving their engines running for prolonged periods - when they come to collect Runshaw students from surrounding streets.
That meeting heard that South Ribble is launching an anti-idling campaign across the borough, which will see motorists approached about the effects of their actions on air quality.
A spokesperson for Runshaw College said: "We have a close working relationship with South Ribble Borough Council and we always try to find workable solutions with them to the issue of parking. We will continue to work in partnership with the authority going forward."
Lancashire County Council said in statement: "We continually review our priorities for parking enforcement according to intelligence received and would ask people to email firstname.lastname@example.org about any issues they are aware of.
"We're aware of the potential for issues on the Worden Estate due to students attending the college - and pay particular attention to this area at the start of the academic year."
Off-street parking regulations in the borough - covering dedicated car parks - are enforced by a company commissioned by South Ribble Council under an arrangement with Wyre and Lancaster councils.