Councillors agree to introduce residents parking scheme

Councillors voted on 15 January to include the area covered by Southdown Rise Residents Association in the Area J residents parking scheme. The orders for the pay and display equipment will be placed and the Traffic Orders advertised in due course. Concerns about the detail of the scheme can be raised during consultation on the Traffic Orders. An exact timescale for the scheme’s introduction is not yet available.

Councillors also agreed that the Round Hill area will be included in the scheme.

A full list of the decisions taken at the meeting is on the council’s website.

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One thought on “Councillors agree to introduce residents parking scheme

  1. Keith Appleyard Treasurer & Trustee Fiveways Playcentre

    On behalf of Fiveways Playcentre in Florence Road, we did submit our objections to the scheme, but have never had any response. I’ve re-sent them to the Preston Park Ward Councillors, but will share below a truncated form of what we said.
    We feel that no consideration has been given to our facility, which has been based here for 37 years, and was recently (2010) the beneficiary of over £500,000 of Brighton & Hove Capital funding.
    Fiveways Playcentre has 235 children on our register, with 15 staff, 52 pre-school children & their parents arriving each weekday morning between 8am and 9:15, 50% of them via private car en route to work. We also have 30 children arriving after 3pm for After Schools Club from Downs & Balfour Infant & Primary Schools, and parents continually arriving and leaving between 3pm and 6pm to collect their children. We also host the Preston Park Childrens Centre within our premises, which has Health Visitors, Social Workers etc as well as their Clients coming and going throughout the day.
    After 6pm we hire out the premises to local Charities such as the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) for their ante-natal classes.
    At weekends the premises are hired out all day long by Childrens Charities such as BHIP & MOSAIC, who travel long distances and bring lots of specialist equipment with them, and need access for loading & unloading disabled children.
    The plans appear to propose a ‘Shared Pay & Display Zone’ adjacent to our premises, sufficient for 4-5 vehicles, which we would also ‘share’ with the Preston Park [Doctors] Surgery at no.2a. Given that the rest of Florence Road will be designated ‘Residents Only’ from 9am to 8pm, this is scarcely adequate for the volume of motor traffic we experience. Not every parent/carer is proceeding to work on a Brighton & Hove Bus Route; some are proceeding out of town to Lewes, Worthing or Burgess Hill.
    The proposed Shared Pay & Display Zone does not extend as far as the entrance to our premises; thus our only point of access could be blocked by a Resident, leaving us unable to accommodate plant such as tractor-drawn lawn mower. We need assured access during Business hours.
    This does not necessarily mean that we want a “School Keep Clear” zone; because of the relative orientation of lampposts and trees, when the Council has previously offered to put up a pedestrian barrier we have declined, because we do need that direct access to be perpendicular to our gates.
    In previous consultations it had been suggested that we could have an exclusive “Business” parking slot immediately outside our premises. That way we could use it for Loading/Unloading, and vacate it to make way for plant entering or leaving the premises. I had enquired in this day and age whether we could purchase a “Business” permit to be shared between 2 job-sharers, but was told that a permit could only be allocated to a single vehicle. I’m not sure what an “Exclusive Pay & Display” zone offers, but I wonder if 1 or 2 bays of that type could be positioned outside of our premises, that we could purchase permits for? If they could be made transferable between vehicles, then we could also facilitate sharing them with the Preston Park Childrens Centre Health Visitor, for example.
    Given the sheer volume of traffic we describe, and the relatively long walk for the short legs of 2-3 year olds to get from/to the nearest other Pay & Displays in Southdown Avenue, would it be possible to also designate some of the area across the road alongside St Augustine’s Church to also be for Pay & Display rather than for Residents?
    Finally; the proposal is for all Pay & Display to be increments of 1 hour, and be £1. That means 50% of our parents will be paying £10 per week, when all they need is 10 minutes at each end of the day to drop off and pick up. I know the charging period begins at 9am, but there will still be some parents who would greatly appreciate either a 15-minute ‘free’ period during our peak hours (such as at Brighton Railway Station), or being charged 25p for a 15-minute slot. We’ve already had parents give us due notice that they cannot afford to pay another £10 a week in addition to their existing £150+ a week per child, and would be forced to cancel their place with us and look elsewhere for childcare in a more car-friendly location. With the recent Government initiatives for more Childcare to enable Parents to get back to work, it would be unfortunate if further obstacles were placed in their way.

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