Possible parking changes prove unpopular at meeting

PARKING plans which could see the loss of spaces around the seafront for visitors and tourists have been criticised.

The plans, which include changes to some of the 
parking zones across Bognor Regis, were attacked at a meeting of the joint western Arun area committee last Wednesday.

Resident Pat Dillon used public question time to air his concerns about changes which could see spaces on the seafront lost to resident parking.

Mr Dillon was told by Cllr Ann Rapnik (WSCC, Bersted, UKIP) the plan would be referred back for further work.

Later committee member Cllr Adam Cunard (Arun district, Bersted, I) said he was ‘astounded’ the issue of seafront parking had come back to the table.

Cllr Cunard said: “We are going to spend more money on a consultation on a scheme that people don’t want.

“I don’t want this to go back, I want to kill dead this ridiculous idea of taking away seafront parking for visitors. It is ludicrous.”

Cllr Paul Wells (Bognor Regis Town Council, Hotham, LD) said he was also surprised it had come back.

“This meeting is asking us to approve some of these schemes tonight so they will go to the member for the area,” he said.

“I think we just need to back track on this a bit and have a look at it, particularly around The Esplanade.

“The situation with The Esplanade is complicated.

“I understand that residents want to be able to park but as we can see from areas where parking zones are already, during the day when residents are out at work these spaces are empty. It is a waste.”

Cllr Wells said he felt if on-street and off-street parking charges were brought into line it could help solve some of the problems.

“If people are going to the theatre they will use the on-street parking as it is free after 5pm rather than parking off street which may charge until 8pm,” he said.

“You then have the problem that when residents come home after work they have no where to park. Putting in more residents parking spaces on the seafront will not solve this problem. You will just have the situation in the day time where there are umpteen empty spaces as people are at work and then at night residents can’t park.”

Greg Merrett, a principle community officer at the county council, told councillors the issue would not be considered by the area’s local member.

“Our process is that if we receive five or more objections then the matter will come back to JWAAC,” he said.