PARISHIONERS have won the first round of a fight to remove a yellow peril from outside their church.

Since double lines appeared outside St Paul's, Westleigh, as part of a school safety scheme, the congregation has been forced to park in nearby streets, upsetting residents there.

Over 60 protesters petitioned Wigan Council, and wrote to Leigh MP Andy Burnham, seeking a reversal of the car ban in Westleigh Lane from the church lychgate to Lawson Avenue.

As a result the situation is to be looked at again.

Petition organiser Mrs Eva Marsden said: "We feel very strongly about these lines and can't see the logic of them on this side of the road."

Parking spaces

In a letter of protest she said there were not enough parking spaces in the area without causing obstruction to residents or emergency services.

She says the wide footpath outside the church could have been made narrower and parking spaces allotted down to Lawson Avenue.

People require parking for weekday as well as Sunday services, for baptisms once a month, weddings, funerals, confirmations and for family and friends to spend time tending the graves of loved ones in the churchyard.

Maintenance and voluntary workers who give up their time to make the churchyard a respectable part of Westleigh also need parking facilities.

She said: 'I am 60 years old and have both lived and attended Westleigh Secondary School and I do not accept that with changing times this side requires double yellow lines.

"I have visited the church and churchyard at various times of every day and evening winter and summer and the only people who park on the church side are those either placing flowers on graves or working within the grounds.

"We at St Paul's are looking for a reversal of the yellow lines which have caused a bigger problem than was there before."

A council spokesman said: "The yellow lines are part of a much bigger Westleigh School Travel Plan which is designed to make the journey to local schools safer for children, and includes crossings, traffic calming and central refuges.

"We consulted with people locally at the time, but we will look at the problems created at the church again to see if we can help to alleviate them."