Funeral upset

PUBLISHED: 14:31 10 October 2009 | UPDATED: 12:04 10 June 2010

SELFISH drivers are causing grieving Budleigh Salterton families an extra heartache by scuppering funeral plans.

SELFISH drivers are causing grieving Budleigh Salterton families an extra heartache by scuppering funeral plans.

Drivers who deliberately park over double yellow lines in front of the gates at St Peter's Church are sometimes preventing the hearse from getting to the church.

The problem can also mean that vehicles carrying grieving families behind the hearse are unable to drive straight into the churchyard.

Instead, the funeral directors are often forced to manoeuvre the cars around before they deliver mourners to the church door.

Palmers' funeral director Martin Fumagall said: "It's difficult at times.

"Thankfully, the families don't really notice because we find some way to squeeze through. We have to shift the cars in and out because people are parking irresponsibly.

"If you have got three or four family cars behind the hearse, they can't get in."

Budleigh Salterton resident and county councillor Christine Channon is so appalled by the drivers' lack of consideration, she has asked the county council to introduce parking measures near St Peter's Church.

Councillor Channon said: "Some people are making a habit of parking over the footpath and covering the double yellow lines in front of the church gates.

"There have been times when the hearse has been unable to enter the churchyard.

"I have requested a bollard on the edge of the pavement, two feet along from the corner."

The Reverend Robert Charles said he was unaware there had been a problem accessing the church grounds with a hearse.

He said drivers who ignored road markings and parking restrictions outside the church were an ongoing problem.

Mr Charles said: "I am aware it is difficult at times, but I have never known a hearse fail to get in.

"At times, it has made the access difficult when people park across the pavement.

"What it needs is some real enforcement of the rules that are already in existence."

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