DRIVERS are being urged to park legally and considerately following a rise in illegal and irresponsible parking during the latest lockdown.

It comes amid concerns that vehicles responding to 999 calls could be prevented from accessing emergencies or getting the injured and sick to hospital.

Cheshire East Council says the problem is on the rise across the whole borough – and not just at ‘the usual hotspots’ of town centres and visitor attractions.

Cllr Laura Crane, cabinet member for highways and waste, said: “Our highways and parking officers are finding increasing numbers of motorists parked illegally on our roads and streets, preventing the free-flow of traffic along the highway.

“There is also a real concern that access by emergency services vehicles is being inhibited and even prevented – putting people’s lives at risk.

“It is simply unacceptable. Inconsiderate and irresponsible parking is causing difficulties for residents, pedestrians, people with disabilities or with prams, and other road users, as well as businesses and our emergency services.

"Some people have complained of finding their driveways blocked, leaving them unable to get in or out of their own home.

“Lockdown does not mean people have a licence to park illegally or irresponsibly – and I would urge people to stick to the rules, show consideration for others and help our emergency services to do their fantastic and critically important work unhindered.”

CEC says it will carry out a review of parking policies in the coming months as part of its new local transport plan.

The issue of motorists parking on pavements is also the subject of a review by central government, which could change the way the problem is tackled.

Anyone convicted of parking illegally faces a fine of up to £70.

To report illegal parking email CEC on or call 0300 123 5020.