Lewes parking bays ‘too narrow to park legally’

Dr John Parry: 'It feels as though traffic attendants are preying on us'
Dr John Parry: 'It feels as though traffic attendants are preying on us'

Drivers have been warned about the risk of fines after ‘narrower than average’ parking bays in Lewes leave owners of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) with no choice but to park illegally.

John Parry, 68, of St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, was left with a ‘sinking feeling’ when he saw he had been issued with a £25 parking ticket for having his tyres slightly over the white lines in his own road.

Dr Parry, who has been a resident of St Anne’s Crescent for 40 years, said he wants to warn people that there is a big difference between the parking bays outside his house, and those just a few hundred yards away in Western Road.

He has since discovered the bays in his road are 180cm (71ins) wide whereas other bays in Western Road are 203cm (80ins).

Dr Parry said: “23cm doesn’t sound a lot but it makes all the difference to whether we are parking legally or not.

“It feels as though parking attendants are preying on us.

“There are enough pressures on us without this as well.”

Having disputed the parking ticket as well as querying the discrepancy between the size of the bays, East Sussex county Council responded to Mr Parry with what he called a ‘standard response’ letter.

Government guidelines recommend a minimum width for a car space should be is 2.4m (7ft 10ins). The parking in St Anne’s Crescent falls short of this.

Dr Parry has highlighted that people who are attempting to park ever-popular SUVs, which are on the whole wider than 180cm, run the risk of being given a ticket by the county council, even if all efforts have been made to park as neatly and as close to the kerb as possible.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “Legislation states that a bay width should be between 180cm and 270cm, depending on the width of a road and the ability for traffic, emergency service vehicles in particular, to pass safely.

“At 180cm, the bay in St Anne’s Crescent is wider than Dr Parry’s car.”

The spokesman continued: “We did receive an informal challenge to the penalty charge notice, which was rejected due to the vehicle being parked a considerable distance from the kerb. Dr Parry is entitled to make a formal challenge.”

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