THERE is no straight forward solution to the current parking chaos caused by hordes of visitors to Pickmere Lake, Cheshire East Council has said.

The council came under fire over the weekend from Pickmere Parish Council, which submitted a formal complaint over CEC’s inability to respond to numerous emails and calls from members.

Pickmere Lake has become a problem area in recent weeks and months, attracting hundreds of visitors from across the county, who in some cases were spotted disregarding social distancing measures.

Residents have also reported incidents of anti-social behaviour and littering by alcohol-fuelled visitors, with officers from Cheshire Police being granted extra powers to move people on in May.

But it is parking which has got residents’ backs up, perhaps more than any other issue, as roads and pavements have been left obstructed by visitors’ parked cars.

Following the complaint being submitted, Cllr Mick Warren, CEC cabinet member for communities, said: “We understand the frustration felt by local residents and the parish council regarding this matter and we have stepped up a presence at Pickmere with our enforcement officers and police increasing patrols.

“The current parking restrictions in Pickmere only apply at weekends and bank holidays, therefore we are limited in what action can be taken during weekdays.

“This is when this particular problem has been most acute due to the recent hot weather and the easing of lockdown restrictions.

“It is the responsibility of motorists to ensure they park legally and considerately, and there is still an obligation on people to maintain social distancing at all times.

“Irresponsible parking, as witnessed at Pickmere, presents a serious risk to everyone, as the emergency services such as ambulances would not be able to get through.

“We would be pleased to work with Pickmere Parish Council and Cheshire Police to explore possible solutions, but we recognise that this is a popular lakeside attraction in a small village with a narrow approach for traffic.

“Therefore, arriving at a workable solution that satisfies everyone including visitors may not be straight forward.

“We will also discuss with police the extent of anti-social behaviour and any criminal activity, including substance misuse, breaches of social distancing and large groups of people ignoring the current restrictions on numbers.

“We continue to urge residents and visitors to the borough to take their litter home or use the nearest bin.”