LETTER: Parking ‘inertia’ around hospital

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I AM personally unsurprised by the apparent ‘inertia’ and lack of tangible progress West Sussex County Council has taken in terms of tackling the now chronic parking problems around St Richard’s Hospital residential areas.

Having been a resident for over 10 years I have grown to understand that WSCC has always been a cautious conservative authority, but the length of procrastination in acknowledging and actually tackling this pressing road safety issue has become a farce.

I note with interest that WSCC top transport officers have since compiled a joint report which has taken more time and no doubt additional money.

However, it is not beyond the will of man for anyone to observe and experience the daily congestion, blind spots and pressing road safety issues created by selfish car owners who consistently park on busy T- junctions e.g. Swanfield Drive and Barnfield Drive, Palmers Field Drive etc. who remain ‘unwilling’ to pay for parking either at St Richard’s Hospital car park or nearer to the city centre.

Lead WSCC councillors (with transport/highways portfolio responsibilities) have been made fully aware of these chronic residential ‘displacement’ parking problems over several years – I should know as I have written to them. The dismissive vague responses received over the years appear to confirm that it’s simply not a ‘priority’ and residents simply must wait until the next financial year’s budget … but this has since become increasingly worse over the past three years.

So as advised, many local resident associations undertook on-line parking surveys as well individual residents affected directly writing to the Chichester Observer to raise legitimate concerns regarding this pressing issue.

A local public consultation was undertaken over four months ago and we’re still waiting to see published results? But we now hear in the Chichester Observer (11.6.15) that WSCC intends to scale back proposed parking enforcement plans even before the public consultation has been published? Cynically, I wonder if it is simply a ‘smoke screen’ to save money. Perhaps, only when there has been a serious pedestrian accident, serious car collision or a fatality may WSCC Highways Department undertake the much needed action required – as the timescale taken to date is now verging on negligence.

DJ Gaylard

Peacock Close,

Chichester