LETTER: Action is needed on parking now

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I read with incredulity the response from the county council in response to residents’ concerns about dangerous parking in last week’s Gazette. Namely that ‘residents’ can request for the county council to look into parking restrictions and a road audit.

Readers may be interested to know that on December 1, 2015, many residents turned up at a meeting of the Joint Eastern Arun Area Committee committee to express concerns about this very issue.

They were told by the highways manager consultation on a proposed controlled parking zone had not progressed in 2012 because of a lack of support from key stakeholders such as the town council. This would have to change before any further review was considered.

In response to this and prompted by myself and Councillor Chester, the town council reassessed its position given the change the change in control of the council.

On January 28, 2016, the town council passed the following resolution unamimously: “We encourage the various authorities to investigate all the options and work together to develop a coherent stratergy for the long-term resolution of parking issues faced by the residents and visitors coming into the area encompassing all options including controlled parking zones.”

The evidence appears to suggest that the request has been made and that the road space audit should take place and options be drawn up and consulted on. It is my view that there are areas of the town where the situation is so bad that the introduction of controlled parking zones is the only way to help reduce the severity of the problem.

There are influential figures in the town that vehemently oppose such a scheme so it may be that residents in the affected areas may wish to consider a petition to help make progress.

My last thought on this issue is that I have been trying to change things for years where parking is concerned and another area that requires a serious review is in the planning laws as it does not recognise car parking as a major issue and the highways authority work from strategic point of view and many a discussion has been had in frustration due to the lack of car parking spaces being provided or not in a lot of cases.

But let’s be fair about this – our streets were not made for so many cars, families are bigger and stay longer due to the house prices and so more cars come, developers come along and buy our town houses , change them into flats or houses of multiple occupancy and along come more cars. So when does it stop? Town centre builds don’t require car parking spaces apparently due to that they say we have sustainable travel – i.e., trains , buses and bicycles. Really ? Good point, but how often do they really work and get you where you want to be on time?

The last issue is of TRO’s (traffic regulation orders). These are used for implementing double-yellow lines and other road markings

However, we are only allowed three a year, so securing safety around junctions, which is paramount, is a priority for me. But then it has to be prioritised. All this requires urgent review – today not tomorrow. Are we going to have to witness another incident like last week, I wonder, before anything gets done? Next time there could be a fatality due to bad parking and then it is too late.

Cllr Ian Buckland

Arun District Council,

River ward,

The Blatchen, Littlehampton

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