EW parking restrictions in the heart of Dartmoor could help end snow tourism chaos, a senior councillor believes.
West Devon Borough councillor Mark Renders said new yellow lines on the road outside the Two Bridges Hotel near the entrance to Wistman’s Wood would prevent vehicles from double parking and causing potential accidents.
Dartmoor was flooded with snow tourists after the first flakes hit the national park following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions two years ago.
That led to queues of traffic stretching for miles clogging the moor’s roads, with police having to close one of them to prevent any more people entering the area.
Cllr Renders, also a member of the national park’s board, said: ‘Parking along this road can be bad in summer, but we really suffer from snow tourists.
‘You get cars along this stretch double-parked and nobody can get through. We had one situation where somebody at an old people’s home needed Covid-19 jabs and they just couldn’t get through.
‘While I don’t think there have been any serious accidents along this stretch of road, there have been some near misses.’
A ‘no waiting at any time’ order – or double yellow lines – came into force on roads around Two Bridges on April 29, in response to a campaign by both the local Dartmoor Forest Parish Council and the Dartmoor National Park Authority.
The order stops people parking on a section where the B3212 and B3357 meet past Two Bridges Hotel until just after the Princetown/Plymouth junction. The two roads, which cross the moor in a diagonal, meet at Two Bridges.
In summer, the parked vehicles are a hazard to other motorists negotiating this stretch, reducing visibility and narrowing the road, making it difficult for vehicles to pass. The news has been welcomed by Dartmoor Forest Parish Council chair Cllr Alison Geen.
She said: ‘Dartmoor Forest Parish Council are very grateful that DNPA have followed up on our request for this parking restriction to be introduced. We hope this will make driving past the Two Bridges Hotel on the B3357 a much safer experience for all.’
‘We welcome the no waiting proposal,’ said Andrew Watson, Dartmoor National Park Authority’s head of recreation, access and estates. We believe it will go a long way towards improving road safety for all road users and alleviating problems such as obstructive parking.’
Mike Coombes, sales and marketing manager for the Two Bridges Hotel, said: ‘The new yellow lines will certainly help towards the safety of all road users – cars, pedestrians, cyclists and of course Dartmoor’s precious ponies and other animals – by making it an offence to park on this narrow and busy section of road.’
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