Drivers who park on the pavements and verges in Elm Grove in Brighton risk receiving a parking ticket after councillors voted for a clampdown.
Sussex Police and Brighton and Hove City Council are expected to organise a “joint initiative” to tackle “parking contraventions, obstructions and other nuisances on the public highway”.
Green councillors and two Conservatives voted in favour of the crackdown in the street leading up to Brighton General Hospital at the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee this week.
Labour members tried to persuade the committee to put off enforcement for 12 months to give the community a chance to come up with a solution to the area’s parking problems.
An earlier proposal to create a controlled parking zone in Hanover and Elm Grove proved deeply unpopular and was thrown out.
More recent plans to create free parking bays and landscaping – making it harder to park on the verges and pavements – were also rejected during a consultation.
Some drivers currently block pavements making it hard or impossible for people in wheelchairs or parents with buggies to get past.
Where there are double yellow lines on the road, those parked on the pavement face the prospect of a parking ticket. Likewise, where there is an obstruction.
About 70 cars are likely to be displaced by enforcement although many of the neighbouring streets are narrow, cramped and overcrowded with cars and vans.
Council official Owen McElroy told committee members: “There is no offence of parking on the footway but if it’s causing an obstruction or a person is witnessed driving on the footway or the pavement it is an offence and a matter for the police.
“If a vehicle that is parked on the footway but not behind double yellow lines, nothing can be done.
“The yellow lines were put down in the 1980s and they were reviewed last year. The reason they were put down was to make junctions safe.”
Councillor Emma Daniel, who recently won the by-election in the ward for Labour, asked the committee to hold off for 12 months.
She said: “Please give this community a chance to come up with a scheme that the community supports and will be self-enforcing. Don’t let those 70 cars be displaced into surrounding streets.
Councillor Christopher Hawtree said: “Previous administrations have not dealt with this so we’re having to deal with it. This is about safety. This is also about trying to make Elm Grove better. We’re not doing it in a draconian way.”
Councillor Gill Mitchell said: “There’s a whole constituency here which is being ignored – the residents of Elm Grove and the side streets.
“Residents were asked if they wanted a residents parking zone and the ward councillors campaigned against it and so did the then Green candidate in the general election.
“Residents were then told there was going to be immediate enforcement.”
She criticised that approach but added: “We don’t condone the illegal parking practices in Elm Grove. But the council has to enforce parking consistently across the city.”
Councillor Dee Simson said: “I can’t see this being a long-term solution if you haven’t got the buy-in of the community.”
Committee chairman Councillor Pete West, a Green, said: “We don’t have to give officers permission to enforce the law but we are giving our consent to a package with the police.
“We have given ample opportunity for grassroot schemes. This whole proposal came out of consultations with the community.
“We can continue to have dialogue with the community. Meanwhile we have a responsibility for road safety and legality.
“What would be extremely welcome coming from the community is a proposal and evidence of support for their proposal.”
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