DRIVERS are being urged to stop parking illegally on a street that leads to bungalows for elderly and disabled people.

Residents of the Spennymoor cul-de-sac say they are prisoners in their homes because the road is regularly congested with cars.

A single yellow line bans parking between 8am and 6pm on Charles Street. There are also signs asking residents only to park at the back of adjoining Princess Court.

But residents claim people visiting a nearby bank ignore the restrictions and park on the footpaths- forcing them on to the road.

Ray O'Neill, a wheelchair user who lives in Princess Court, said: "Sometimes drivers can be really thoughtless. Cars have been parked in front of our drives and garages so we cannot get out.

"They obstruct the paths so the elderly, disabled and parents with pushchairs visiting nearby Rosa Street Primary School are put in danger, as we have to use the road."

His friend Ron Campion, who uses a buggy, added: "When I come up this street there is always someone parking where they shouldn't be. I would just appeal to their better nature and ask them to think about where they are parking. By obstructing the paths they are putting people in danger."

Mr O'Neill added: "If only drivers would think about where they are leaving their cars the street would be much better.

"There are two free car parks either side of Charles Street but to save themselves from walking a few yards they disregard the law and ignore the effect on others.

"Thursdays and Fridays seem to be the worst because more people visit the bank after pay day and cannot spend an extra minute walking to the car form one of the car parks."

Durham Police have warned drivers that traffic wardens regularly patrol the area and if cars are found to be parked illegally, drivers face a £30 fine.

Insp Ged Doherty, of Sedgefield division, said: "Residents in the area have complained of parking problems in the past and the traffic wardens are asking to monitor these streets.