LARGS residents say they cannot park outside their own homes after yellow lines were suddenly painted on the road without any warning.

Double and single lines have appeared on Bath Street, as council officials attempt to ease congestion around the CalMac ferry terminal.

They say they are simply enforcing restrictions which have been in place since 1982.

But the move has caused chaos, because people living on the street had no idea about them and have been parking there for many years.

Now they have been hit with unexpected fines and a 'significant' number cannot find spaces.

Town councillor Tom Marshall has written to the roads department demanding the removal of the lines after local residents expressed their outrage.

Cllr Marshall today questioned why residents or elected members were not consulted about the decision.

He said: "The residents calculate that between 30 and 40 car parking spaces will be lost to local residents.

"This is totally unacceptable to local ratepayers who are being denied on-street car parking 365 days a year to resolve an issue that occurs perhaps 20 days a year.

"They are taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

"I have lived in Largs for more than half century and have never seen double yellow lines in Bath Street adjacent to Clark Memorial Church.

"This is unacceptable.

"There is no logic in reinstating the single yellow line on the east side of Bath Street.

"This does not impinge on the ferry queue and merely makes life more difficult for residents that need on-street car parking.

"This is farcical given that the restrictions in Largs are not enforced."

Resident David Findleton wrote a letter to Cllr Marshall highlighting confusion over the parking arrangements.

In it he said: "On the east side of Bath Street from the church to the lane they have now put down double yellow lines the same as on the opposite side.

"I believe this is to accommodate the queue for the ferry heading from the memorial to Fort Street, which will allow traffic to flow both ways on Bath Street without congestion.

"This appears to be quite sensible to me, however they have only reinstated a single yellow line apart from the junction double lines on the existing length of Bath Street to Union Street, which means when cars are parked in this location it will cause congestion as only single traffic can pass.

"How this will work at the height of the summer is beyond me, as in effect, it will likely just cause another bottleneck, only a bit further on up the street.

"Several cars parked along my end of Bath Street have had parking penalties issued, which I believe to be unfair, as no notice and very little warning of commencing work was issued.

"I estimate that between 30 and 40 parking spaces that were available to the residents in this location have been lost to this new arrangement, some of which would have been necessary to accommodate the ferry queue, however the other twenty or so places between our end of Bath Street and Fort Street have gone for no good reason."

Independent councillor Ian Murdoch also criticised the way the matter had been handled.
He said: "I have concerns about how the consultation was done - I was certainly was not part of it.
"I fully understand that the traffic order has been in place since the 1980s, but to implement it in this way with the least amount of consultation was not the right thing to do.
"Traffic orders should be implemented only after a full strategic traffic management plan for the whole town, and we have to look at how we accommodate residents and day trippers.
"We need to look at other ideas such as parking marshals and park and ride before we start enforcing a full traffic order."

North Ayrshire Council says that a range of works had been agreed for around the ferry terminal to help alleviate traffic congestion and provide 'a better experience for both residents and visitors to Largs'.

A spokesperson said: “Since the introduction of lower ferry fares, the volume of traffic around Pierhead, Fort Street and Bath Street has increased significantly.

"While the increased number of visitors has been welcome, it has caused congestion in streets near the ferry terminal, particularly at peak times during the summer months.

“Alongside partners CalMac, Police Scotland and Largs Community Council, we have identified a number of traffic management improvements which are currently being implemented by our Roads Service.

“We are confident that the improvements will help alleviate some of the traffic issues in the area and will monitor their effectiveness."

The council says it has no plans to introduce parking permits for residents.

Their spokesperson added: "The 'improvement works include: lengthening of the ferry queue lane markings from Fort Street into Bath Street and provision of supplementary signage to help improve the information available for drivers; formalising bus stop markings at the rear of the Brisbane Centre on Bath Street, to allow the service bus to alight and pick up passengers; refresh of all markings related to the Traffic Regulation Order in the affected streets (i.e. 'no waiting' - double and single yellow markings); replacement of 'limited waiting' time plates (30 minutes, 10am–7pm, no return within 30 minutes)."