Businesses worry over parking plan

HAIRDRESSER Heidi Brett fears a new parking scheme for Bognor Regis will put her out of business.

Heidi runs Headquarterz Barbers on Aldwick Road. Its location and the surrounding residential roads are included in West Sussex County Council’s proposal to extend the existing 
town-centre permit parking scheme.

She said: “I’ll have to close. There will be nowhere around here for us to park. It’s all residents’ parking and two-hours visitors’ parking. But that’s no good for me. Some of my clients have colour corrections that last for up to five hours.

“A lot have children and will not be able to walk a long distance with them from wherever they can park.

“All the businesses I have spoken to along this road feel the same. Everyone says they want to help small businesses, but I’m going to end up on the dole.”

Heidi, 26, has run her hair business for eight years and has a full-time hair stylist and a Saturday worker.

“It’s been a struggle, but I’m still here. But I’m just so worried about this scheme,” she said.

The scheme would not tackle the area’s parking problems, said Heidi. “It will operate from 9am to 5pm Mondays to Saturdays, but that is when residents are at work and there are spaces.

“The scheme should be in place from 5pm onwards and Sundays when the residents are at home and the roads are full,” she said.

The county council has started a consultation about its plan. It will include a large area of Bognor, from Bassett and Cavendish roads across to Nyewood Lane and up to Chichester Road.

Its aim is to regulate parking by charging residents £40 a year for a space and £80 for a second space if available. Other parking will be strictly controlled.

Concern about the impact of the proposed controls has also been raised by Picturedrome cinema operator Adam Cunard.

He told the chamber of commerce’s executive committee last week: “I’m really worried about the effect of the permit parking.

“I can see the benefit 
from a resident’s point 
of view but, as a business, it will be catastrophic.

“A lot of people park in the area concerned to come to the cinema, especially when it’s school holidays.

“It’s going to be a nightmare for me. I’m really worried about it.

“There may well be two-hour visitors’ parking bays, but that will be no good to me because most films go on for more than two hours.

“If the scheme was really going to work, it should run from 5pm to 9am to make sure everyone who lives in the area can park there.

“All it is going to do is to harm shops. I don’t see it having any positive benefit on the town whatsoever.”

Exhibitions about the plan will be held in Bognor from 10am-4pm on May 17 at 
St Wilfrid’s Church and 
3.30pm-7pm on May 20 at the Regis Centre.