A COUNCILLOR has reacted with fury after a town hall report blamed NHS workers for parking problems near Fairfield Hospital. 

The paper, which recommends a ‘no waiting at any time’ zone along a section of Bury and Rochdale Old Road, went before Heywood Township.

The stretch of road in question falls within Heywood and Norden,part of the township's borders.

But the proposals have twice been rejected by Heywood councillors on the grounds the restrictions cover too large an area. If approved the zone would effectively operate on both sides of the road, from the borough boundary to the former Melba Plastics site.

A Rochdale Council report says they are necessary to stop parked cars impeding traffic, reducing visibility, and blocking cycle lanes.

It adds that demand for parking on the proposed stretch of road ‘is generated by staff and visitors attending the nearby Fairfield General Hospital, where parking charges apply’.

This sparked an angry response from North Heywood councillor Liam O’Rourke, when presented at a township committee meeting.

He said: “I find it utterly disrespectful this has come back to township in this fashion, we were very firm that the proposal is far too long.

“And to try and put blame on NHS staff at this moment in time is utterly reckless from the council. I can’t believe you have come to us with that to be honest.”

Cllr O’Rourke said public transport links to the hospital were not currently up to scratch, so parking restrictions would be ‘detrimental to residents in Heywood’.

And he was also unhappy the report was seemingly unchanged despite twice being rejected.

Councillors voted unanimously to reject the scheme, meaning it must now go to cabinet for a final decision.