Brighton's poor coach parking provision criticised

Posted On 26 Oct 2012 at 2:11 am

Officials were accused of directing coaches to park in residential Brighton streets where the drivers urinate and defecate in public, according to a deputation heard at a council meeting yesterday.

George Cummings, of Roedean Way, Brighton, said: “Brighton and Hove prospers enormously from the tourist industry and the tourists who come here and many thousands arrive by coach, dozens of coaches each week.

“However, Brighton and Hove City Council only provides 42 coach parking spaces in the city to manage the ever growing demand over recent years.

“So officials have been quietly directing coaches to park along totally unsuitable roads adjacent to and actually within residential neighbourhoods such as Roedean Road, The Cliff, Roedean Crescent and Roedean Way.”

Mr Cummings, representing Roedean Residents Association, said: “As well as being a visual eyesore, the continual mass of unofficial coach parking in this and other areas is dangerous to the road users and pedestrians alike.

“Neither Roedean Road nor Roedean Way have pavements.

“Of course, with no facilities provided for the drivers, they are forced to resort to urinating and even defecating behind their vehicles which is an all too regular sight for local residents.

“Furthermore the volume of coach parking encourages lorries to park here – there is no HGV provision either.

“As a result the whole area resembles a motorway service station without the services and not the beautiful residential neighbourhood that it actually is and deserves to remain.

“Surely coach travel should be regarded as ‘green’ and with the Green Party doing everything they can to discourage the use of cars proper provision for coaches and their drivers is essential.

“The current provision could lead to questions on health and safety grounds since the drivers spend many hours with no suitable rest area, food or toilets.

“We understand there is reluctance on the part of some companies to go to Brighton with these non-existent facilities but if these were in place they would send many more thus increasing business for the city in many different ways.

“It cannot be stressed too highly the dangers this unauthorised parking creates.

“There is no pavement down Roedean Road, only a narrow pedestrian way marked with a white line over which most cars travelling towards the A259 are forced to drive.

“Any pedestrian takes his life in his hands using this way when coaches are parked.

“Also crossing the road is fraught with danger since there is no visibility.”

Mr Cummings added: “The bus service is disrupted because the drivers heading to Brighton rightly consider at certain times it too dangerous to drive on the wrong side of the road.

“Getting on and off the bus is a major problem with no visibility of oncoming traffic.

“There has been a serious accident recently entirely attributable to one of the car drivers being forced on to the wrong side of the road and it is only a matter of time before there is another possibly fatal accident.

“The council should be aware that it will carry huge responsibility for any accident related to coach parking other than in officially designated areas.

“We urge the council to stop stonewalling this problem as they have been doing for years and act immediately to provide a 21st century coach parking provision on a suitable site for our city.”

The Green administration transport spokesman Councillor Ian Davey said: “It’s been a problem which previous administrations have failed to deal with.

“Like park and ride, the city has struggled and never found a suitable site for a coach park.

“There are insufficient funds to establish a permanent coach park at Black Rock.”

Councillor Davey promised to review whether there was a way to look again at this option.

At the same meeting, at Hove Town Hall, another member of the residents association, Rosemary Shepherd, presented a petition about the inadequate coach parking provision.

She said: “We are asking the council to address with the utmost urgency the inadequacy of these facilities.

“We feel that it is a disgrace that a major tourist city such as Brighton and Hove has only 42 spaces.

“The subject is mentioned twice in the draft City Plan with no timescale indicated.

“This matter is urgent before there is a major accident in Roedean Road.”

 

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    The Council requires that e-petitions finish 10 days before the meeting they are to be presented to. BHCC website shows five finished epetitions, two of which had enough signatures to trigger a Full Council debate, and they were written into the Agenda.

    The three others were not mentioned in the Agenda but the Agenda need had supposedly meant they had to be ‘finished’ and stopped from gaining any further signatures because of it.

    No apology was provided. Indeed I was initially prevented from even entering the chamber to do my speech and ‘deliver’ my public toilets epetition by security. Told to go upstairs to the public gallery. Name not on the list of those ‘allowed’ to sit downstairs in the chamber.

    Since the Greens came to power this kind of contempt for the public has become the norm.

    Made a fuss, got in. Next to me was a lady in a wheelchair. Not there to speak or within any deputation. She said she could not use the public gallery (even though Cllr MacCafferty insists disabled people do not suffer on any equalities grounds up there – in an email to me). The lady was mortified that wheelchair users had to accept being evacuated (in an emergency) in evac-chairs or on a sheet from that gallery and Cllr Dee Simson had intervened on her behalf to get permission for her to sit downstairs in the chamber.

    Insufficient seating was put out for those in deputations, presenting petitions, doing public questions and at least a dozen had to stand. Such is the contempt for the public.

    The Greens had a very rough ride in Hove Town Hall. I recommend a viewing on the archived Webcast when it is uploaded. Their transport management, in particular, seemed very weak after the public had finished with them.

    Insufficient coach parking not addressed by the Green Council that wants people not to use cars.

    52 bus subsidy and service chopped leaving children to take 3 buses in the pitch dark of winter and wait half an hour at the Marina between buses. A mindbendingly insensitive contribution from Green Cllr Christopher Hawtree suggested children use an underpass in the dead of darkest winter instead of crossing th A259 (and risk being invisibly mugged there) and the room erupted in protest. But God forbid their parents should drive them to school in a CAR!

    Cllr Sue Shanks, in charge of children and schools mumbled about looking into it. Cllr Ian Davey (transport) jumbled on about coaches unmemorably – but in a firm voice.

    Coaches and buses should be a core provision prioritised under a Green Administration. Attention goes instead on things like underwriting a £17m funding to get the i360 built, abolishing Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms prefacings on council communications with residents because the LGBT people are offended (they spent money on a scrutiny panel looking into LGBT issues), and pricing parking out of reach for all but the rich to deal with illegal air quality issues (which improved public transport – like coaches and buses – would address).

    Well the public gave them a ride on public outrage last night. View it on the archived webcast in a day or two at http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

    I’m really angry.

  2. caeos Reply

    a lot of coaches land grab the spaces reserved for ‘local services’ at the old steine during the summer making it impossible to park buses that finish a the steine and wait.
    Madeira drive coach park is usually full, so perhaps extend into black rock ? A proper facilitied coach park could be temporarily built there

  3. A. Brown Reply

    This is not an intractable problem for the Council. A suitable site for a coach park was found during the previous administration and planning permission granted. The only obstacle is this Council’s unwillingness to allocate funds to the project. Any appropriate coach park will cost money – Black Rock or elsewhere. By letting coaches park on residential roads, however, the Council achieve what they appear to be looking for – a site for coaches at zero cost to the Council.

  4. Matt Reigle Reply

    This is absolutely disgusting that an organization would make this a standard that they would follow. The council needs to allocate more space for coach parking and more ammenities, like bathrooms! I mean come on, really? A residential neighborhood??

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