DRIVERS entering a busy Aldwick road take their lives in their hands, a public meeting was told.
Ian Jefferies said motorists who turned right out of Kingsway on the Craigweil estate into Barrack Lane could hardly see oncoming traffic because of parked vehicles.
“Visibility to the right is very difficult, if not impossible at times,” he said. “I’ve sometimes ended up with a vehicle in my face and a fist as well.
“In some cases, scared is the right word for residents who feel in danger when extricating themselves from Kingsway. Something needs to be done about the situation.”
The scale of the problem became apparent at the annual meeting of residents on Craigweil last October when Mr Jefferies mentioned his experiences.
This led him to survey 130 properties on the estate in the Kingsway and part of The Drive. The overwheming response backed him up.
Mr Jefferies sent a petition from 104 people in those homes to West Sussex County Council to call for action.
He said the problem was caused by up to five cars and it was becoming more frequent as motorists sought any parking space they could find.
But he stressed any solution – such as parking restrictions – should not harm businesses in nearby Coastguards Parade.
The petition prompted Tony Sutcliffe, county councillor for Nyetimber, to hold last Thursday’s meeting in Aldwick Parish Council’s building.
Opposing Mr Jefferies was Barrack Lane resident Dr Malcolm Ridley.
He said: “The danger of the perceived problem which Mr Jefferies has outlined has been grossly exaggerated.
“Contrast that with the Fernhurst Gardens junction 200 yards away. There have been countless shunts there in the 20 years I have lived there,”
Strict controls on parking were not the solution, he said. Instead, indications of the 30mph speed limit, like a sign or flashing indicator, would be more effective.
Butcher Peter Boarer, who will mark 30 years on Coastguards Parade later this year, said: “Any parking to the right of Kingsway is very rare. I don’t normally see more than one or two vehicles there at a certain time.”
He and other business owners warned cutting parking would lead them to close because customers would go elsewhere.
Cllr Sutcliffe said the meeting showed local answers are needed rather than drastic action.
Talks will be held with county highway engineers to try to make the situation safer.