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.”
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