The verge of frustration in Brighton’s latest parking battle

Posted On 11 Oct 2013 at 12:53 pm

Drivers can expect a parking ticket if they leave their cars on the verges in ten named streets in Brighton and Hove.

Traffic wardens are being asked to enforce the rules in three streets in the Surrenden area of Brighton and seven others in Mile Oak in Portslade.

But a council committee voted to leave Varndean Road off the list despite a plea from the Preston and Patcham Society and one of the ward councillors.

The decision followed a safety audit last month by independent consultants and comments from residents.

The committee was told that the clampdown on parking on verges was a pilot scheme. This appears to mean that other roads may be added rather than that enforcement will be for a limited time only.

Nick White, a Preston and Patcham Society committee member, addressed members of the Brighton and Hove City Council Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee at Hove Town Hall on Tuesday (8 October).

He said: “We feel that Varndean Road deserves better than to be left out.

“We’re not tree huggers. We’re seeking practical solutions for the residents and drivers.

“It strikes me that the consultants got it wrong. Reinstate Varndean Road. Permit on-street parallel parking – there’s room for 15 to 16 cars.”

He said that up to 30 cars drivers were now leaving their cars on the verges in Varndean Road, creating safety problems.

Some, he said, would be displaced and drivers would end up trying to park elsewhere but about half could park at the kerbside.

He added: “Don’t let the car take over. Put the residents first. The numbers that are parking on the verges has increased substantially – up to 30.

“I’ve stood around there observing drivers’ behaviour. They adapt. They manage. It’s a busy road but passing places do exist.

“Our plan is no cost, it has health benefits and only modest inconvenience for a few – it involves walking for up to five minutes.”

Councillor Sue Shanks, who represents Withdean for the Greens, said: “This is supposed to be a pilot. I would hope that a member of the committee would move an amendment to include Varndean Road in the pilot.”

No one did.

The streets affected in the Surrenden area of Brighton are Braybon Avenue, Surrenden Crescent and Surrenden Road.

And in Mile Oak the affected streets are Chalky Road, Drove Crescent, Graham Avenue, Mile Oak Road, Valley Road, Wickhurst Rise and Wickhurst Road.

Signs will go up under relatively new powers for the council which are being used for the first time.

Councillor Pete West, the Green chairman of the committee, said: “This scheme is a pilot and it’s a consensual pilot and we could learn a lot from it. I don’t think the future of Varndean Road rests on whether it is included in this pilot.

Council official Owen McElroy said: “This is a brand new form of restriction and signage introduced by the Department for Transport in 2010 and it’s the first application in Brighton and Hove.

“I’ve had a request from a councillor in Hangleton and Knoll to introduce the scheme into West Way. There are other wards where councillors are asking for this scheme to be introduced.

  1. john scutt Reply

    I hope the council, would look at The Deneway, in particular from where northbound traffic turns left to then pass under the railway arch…
    The grass verges have been destroyed over the years, I personally have emailed the council a number of times, to no avail…
    best regards
    John Scutt
    Westdene resident.

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