Council looks at new parking zones

From The Argus

MORE controlled parking measures could be rolled out across the city sparking fury among some residents.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s report highlights the high demand for new residents’ parking schemes, with 45 separate requests for a scheme north of Preston Drove in the last year and a number of requests for controlled parking in Hanover and Elm Grove, north of Hove Park, South Portslade and East Brighton.

It recommends that surveys in part of Withdean and Preston Park north of Preston Drove take place early next year, and to look at Hanover and Hove Park areas in the second part of 2015.

The report, due to be discussed at a meeting of the transport committee said: “Parking controls are essential to keep traffic moving and provide access to residents, visitors and businesses.

“There is parking pressure in the area and a number of requests have been received from local residents supported by four ward councillors.

“It is the recommendation of officers that in order to assess parking and road safety concerns these proposals are proceeded with.”

Withdean ward councillors Ken and Ann Norman have been canvassing residents in the streets north of Preston Drove about their views on controlled parking, but said they had not been contacted by council officers prior to the publication of the report.

Mr Norman said: “We have been privately consulting residents in Bates Road, Loder Road, Herbert Road, Surrenden Road and the surrounding area – not for the council but as a private consultation to find out what people want – because we heard a rumour about this.

“We are working very hard to work out what people want and are upset that we weren’t told about this report. We are still adding the results up but it looks like it’s wavering towards people being against controlled parking.”

Hanover residents have strongly objected to proposals for a residents parking zone in the past and the council pledged to curb pavement parking in Elm Grove, before announcing it would postpone enforcement, then launching a crackdown.

Hanover resident James Wallin added: “I would reluctantly welcome the introduction of resident parking permits in Hanover.

“While I principally object to this extra charge on top of ever increasing council tax I am sick and tired of having to drive around and around the narrow streets of Hanover at the end of the working day.

“The greed of successive council administrations has seen resident parking zones cover almost the entire city, forcing the few remaining areas to cope with the fallout.

“The recent bizarre insistence that parking on the pavement along parts of Elm Grove (be penalised), despite ample room for cars and pedestrians, has exacerbated the problem even more in Hanover.

“However, as part of any review of parking I would also like the council to break down exactly why the charges for these permits are set so high.

“I have never been able to understand how painting a few lines and extending a parking warden’s beat can justify charging £120 per space.”

The report also showed waiting lists for residents’ parking permits have halved over the last year thanks to residents switching to other forms of transport, according to a council report.

An update to the citywide parking review says that bus passenger numbers have increased and car ownership is now the lowest in the South East.

Coun Pete West, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “The parking review has enabled us to gather useful information about parking trends and the views of residents and businesses from different parts of the city.

“This is helping us tailor services to specific needs and integrate parking with the rest of transport to improve services for everyone.”

The report is due to be discussed by the Environment, Sustainability and Transport Committee.