Residents display their opposition to parking permits

HUNDREDS of Bognor Regis residents packed a meeting 
to protest about proposed 
parking permits.

A show of hands among the some 200 people on Tuesday revealed just two in favour.

One of those said he would also be against the permits if safety aspects outside his home on Victoria Drive were solved.

Devonshire Road resident Chris Burstow was among those at the two-hour meeting at Bognor FC.

He said: “You could say the opposition at the meeting to the permits was total. People were saying they just did not want it.

“They want the county council to fix the problems that exist which the scheme will be used to solve. It’s a sledgehammer to crack a nut and will be used as a cash cow for the council, as one person put it.”

Other homeowners attended from Bassett Road, Cavendish Road, Southdown Road, Sylvan Way and Victoria Drive.

They were joined by Aldwick Road businesses which spoke out against the proposal’s effect on their staff and customers.

The meeting was organised by county councillors Francis Oppler (LD, Bognor Regis East) and Ann Rapnik (UKIP, Bersted) whose divisions cover some of the affected area.

Cllr Oppler said he believed about 200 people were present.

“The feeling of the meeting 
was overwhelming. It was made clear the many problems with 
this scheme.

“It will affect the area on so many levels for people living here and working, visiting and shopping here. I will not make up my mind until the county councillors for the town vote in September, but the residents’ views are very clear.”

Cllr Rapnik said: “It was an excellent meeting with a superb turnout and very worthwhile. Those present put forward some very good points.

“I made it clear I will support the residents. It’s not necessarily a case of following what the county council wants.”

n A proposed permit parking scheme for Bognor Regis could 
be a disaster for the town, councillors have said.

Their chairman is to write to West Sussex County Council to protest against the initiative.

Cllr Trevor Bence, who chairs Arun District Council’s regeneration sub-committee for Bognor, will compose the complaint with the council’s leader, Cllr Gillian Brown. The sub-committee was told by one of its members, Cllr Phil Hitchens (C, Aldwick W), at last Tuesday’s meeting: “This is a disaster for the town and not 
just for the town but either side of it as well.

“I know some shopkeepers are really against it. I don’t know how the county council got it into their heads that it’s needed.”

Cllr Brown (C, Aldwick E), the council’s leader, said: “I’m totally against this. It’s going to cut down on the area for car parking for residents and businesses and for people trying to get to those businesses.

“It will affect tourism badly and the efforts to make this a successful seaside town.”

But Cllr Andrew Evans (C, Marine) said those who lived in roads such as Argyle Road and Cavendish Road had called for kerbside parking to be changed.

“They can’t park in their roads because people who work in the town centre park there.

“They think parking bays might be the answer,” he said.

As reported, the county council is considering a scheme of parking permits around Felpham’s Sea Road and the west side of Bognor. Permits could cost £40 for each household. Visitors’ permits could be 30p for two hours.