New parking rules set to end residents’ ‘nightmare’

Anita Springthorpe and Edward Springthorpe, outside their home in Needlemakers, Chichester
Anita Springthorpe and Edward Springthorpe, outside their home in Needlemakers, Chichester

A MAJOR shake-up of parking in the city has been welcomed by residents desperate to park near their homes.

More than 100 residential roads in Chichester are set to become controlled parking zones – with many hoping it will deter city workers from snaffling the spaces.

Residents will be charged up to £40 a year for their first permit – and up to £200 for a second car.

But prices for non-residents are more costly – with permit costs reaching £225.

“I live on Adelaide road and its a nightmare to park,” said Chichester resident Chelsea Brocklehurst. “I have to park miles away from our house because everyone wants to park for free.”

“They don’t pay to park if they work in town. I’ve seen them fighting for parking spaces so they don’t have to pay.”

The changes are due to ‘go live’ in January.

Teresea Parfoot said the worst-affected roads were by St Richard’s Hospital.

“I get home after working all day, tired and I can’t park in my own road.

“But there is nowhere as bad as the ones by the hospital, the parking on the pavement, double parking and other cars can’t even get through.”

However, some think the permits should be issued to residents free of charge.

Craig Pinkey, from Bognor Regis, said the move was ‘disgusting’.

“Residents-only parking permits should be issued, not charging them on top of council tax,” he said.

However a mother with a new baby has branded the changes as ‘ridiculous’.

Anita Springthorpe, who lives in Needlemakers, said her road wasn’t included in the plans, despite responding to a West Sussex County Council consultation last year, saying she would like a space.

“Other roads are becoming zoned areas for parking,” said Mrs Springthorpe.

“However, I was not considered as a resident in the zone H allocation or any other zones.

“So as of January, I’m left with nowhere to park.

“I have spoken to the council and they have admitted it is an oversight on their part.

“I’m on maternity leave and I have to keep my son in the car in the layby outside while I unload bags.

“Then I have to drive to park on side streets, and carry him home. The council have refused to support or help me in obtaining a resident’s permit.

“It is a mistake on the council’s part and I have to wait six months until they officially review the areas.”

Mrs Springthorpe has been offered a non-residents’ permit, at the cost of £225 a year, to park in neighbouring Alexandra Road.

But a residents’ permit in the same road costs about £40.

“It’s ridiculous – I’m a resident,” she said. “Some of my neighbours don’t drive, and the flats all have parking. That would explain the consultation repsonse.” A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said only two people in Needlemakers responded to the consultation in July 2012 – but added Needlemakers was ‘never part’ of the CPZ proposals.

“Unfortunately, it would not be possible to accommodate all of this demand for parking so we do have to draw a boundary somewhere.

If there is still capacity left over we do allow non-resident permits to be issued.

“We do have to apply the same rule for all when it comes to those who live outside of a zone.”

‘Double-edged sword’

THE new parking restrictions haven’t been welcomed by everyone.

The threat of extra charges will soon become a reality for drivers who use residential areas around Chichester to park their cars – to avoid the cost of the city centre car parks.

Chichester resident, Paul Cresswell, said: “There is a difference between paying the nominal organisational costs of ensuring a fair parking scheme and being set-up to be continual council cash cows and this on top of all the other above-inflation costs of living.”

Lollo Rosso, from Chichester, spoke out against the changes when they were announced.

“I was against this from the beginning and protested at the time, yet despite the majority not wanting them, this was ignored. Right now, along my road they are even getting rid of single yellow lines in order to make spaces that will be charged for. It’s a joke.”

Business owner Andy Marcou, of Andy’s Fish Bar, on St Pancras, said he welcomed the plans when they were announced last year but said car parks should be cheaper.

“At the moment I struggle to park outside my own business.

“It would be great for my customers if they could increase the bay size for short stay stops up to an hour. There isn’t a problem in the evening.

“If you are a commuter and work in the city, you should really use the car parks, but they are expensive, so the council should revise their costs. It’s a double-edged sword.”

Others have raised concerns that the new measures will simply push parking further out of the city.

A former Alexandra Road resident said: “People will eventually end up parking all the way out of town – I don’t know where they will draw the line.”

A report by West Sussex County Council’s south county local committee said costs of enforcing the changes would be self financing, with income from penalty charge notices ‘balancing out the cost of enforcement’.

The parking zones are set to be reviewed after six months.

“We will return and consult further with residents in the area,” said a spokesman for county.