IT’S hard to believe that residents of Ferrers Road, a congested cul-de-sac just outside a controlled parking zone in Lewes, have been struggling for inclusion into East Sussex County Council’s parking scheme since 2007, when we first submitted a petition to County Hall. Following the recommendations of the Atkins Report, which took place last summer, and their agreement to include us in principle, we are dismayed to hear that there is to be a further delay in the council’s timetable to implement these proposals. It could be autumn at the earliest before anything concrete is likely to happen.
In the intervening years, we have endured round after round of consultations and countless broken promises. At one point we were even given a map of the road showing the positions of the parking bays and meters, and white marks were painted on the kerbsides. We were let down particularly badly at the Planning Committee Meeting stage in June, 2010. Here the concerns of residents were dismissed in favour of the wishes of 28 motorists, almost all commuters, for free, relatively convenient parking; by not wanting to feed the council’s meters, they represented the antithesis of the parking scheme. This ruling contradicted a range of initiatives being adopted by the council to reduce the number of cars that staff bring into Lewes and particularly to lower the numbers parking in the streets.
These are very real dangers of dense parking in a narrow, suburban close. Emergency and utility vehicles may be unable to pass; driveways are often blocked; visibility can be seriously impaired, and security is compromised. Residents’ children playing outside and those walking to Wallands County Primary School are also put at risk.
During the working week our road becomes a sterile free car park largely for County Hall employees. Meanwhile, commuters, mainly single occupants, speed up and down the road. In addition, residents from surrounding streets prefer to use our road to park in instead of paying to park in their own.
The county council has consistently ignored all these issues. How much longer do we have to wait before they see reason?
Ferrers Road Parking Group, Lewes