30 September 2013

Tackling verge parking in Brighton & Hove

Parking on grass verges and footways could soon be banned in some areas of Brighton & Hove as the council responds to residents’ concerns.

Every year the council receives dozens of complaints from residents about parking on footways and verges. As a result, Brighton & Hove City Council is considering clamping down on parking on verges in some of the worst affected areas in a bid to  improve access, prevent damage to pavements, protect the grass, trees and shrubs and increase safety for both pedestrians and other road users.

Members of the council’s Environment, Sustainability and Transport Committee are being asked to approve plans to begin enforcement action in parts of Mile Oak and Surrenden Road area. These areas were identified as having some of the worst problems with parking on verges and footways, by residents responding to a city wide parking review.

During the summer, notices were put up in both areas informing residents and motorists of the proposed new traffic regulations and inviting comments.

There was clear support for the proposals in the Surrenden Road area with 60% of those who responded to traffic regulation order adverts supporting the proposals.

They included the community group ‘Save the Grass Verges’, and the Surrenden Holt residents association.

Following the advertisement of the regulations and a road safety audit, council officers are proposing that enforcement begins in all advertised areas, with the exception of Varndean Road which has been removed from the proposals.

The audit also recommended that the areas around junctions at Old Farm Road and Braybon Avenue, & Woodland Way/Greenfield Crescent & Braybon Avenue should be monitored for six weeks following any introduction of enforcement.

Views in Mile Oak were split with only eight responses to the notices - four in favour and four against. Those against suggested that parking on verges helped keep the roads clear for buses, but representatives from the bus company supported the proposals, saying that parking on verges made it more difficult for passengers to access bus stops.

Committee chair Pete West said: “Parking on verges and footways has become an increasing problem in some residential areas of the city and every year the council receives dozens of complaints.

There is no doubt that, in some areas, the safety of both pedestrians and other road users is being compromised.

“ Not only does parking of footways and verges make life difficult for pedestrians, especially disabled and elderly people, those who are visually impaired and people with pushchairs or double buggies, it can also cause irrevocable damage to the pavements, grass, trees plants and wildlife.”

Notes

The proposed enforcement areas include parts of:

Chalky Road, Braybon Avenue, Drove Crescent, Graham Avenue, Mile Oak Road, Surrenden Crescent, Surrenden Road, Valley Road, Wickhurst Rise and Wickhurst Road.