Midhurst coach parking bays ‘are a danger and block our drive’

David and Angie Hargreaves outside the entrance to their house where there is proposed coach parking
David and Angie Hargreaves outside the entrance to their house where there is proposed coach parking

COACH parking plans in Midhurst have hit a major hurdle after a resident discovered the proposed space blocked the entrance to his home.

He also claims there are serious safety concerns for people driving in and out of their properties.

It’s impossible to park even one coach without seriously restricting the safe view along both directions of the A272

David Hargreaves and his wife Angela, who moved into their home at the bottom of North Street, three months ago, were shocked to see public notices outlining a scheme for two coach parking bays in the lay-by outside their home and the neighbouring complex of seven flats in Borough House.

Midhurst Town Council has been pressing for replacement coach parking space after it was lost with the redevelopment of the Grange Leisure Centre.

But Mr Hargreaves told councillors he believed the proposals for the lay-by on the A272 between the Methodist Church and the school entrance were dangerous.

He and his neighbours are lodging a formal objection to West Sussex County Council’s traffic regulation designating the former school bus spaces for coaches.

“The bay completely straddles our entrance which would mean that if a coach were allowed to park there we would be unable to get out of or get into our property,” he said, adding the access with its dropped kerb had been in existence for many years.

Outlining his safety fears, Mr Hargreaves said: “If coaches were allowed to park in this area the required sight lines could not be achieved for access” not only to his home but the seven flats next door.

“It’s impossible to park even one coach without seriously restricting the safe view along both directions of the A272.”

With coaches some 12-13 metres long, over 3.5m high and 2.55m wide (the bays, he said were only 2.4m wide) the view down the highway would be completely blocked.

“It will not be a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ a serious accident will happen,” warned Mr Hargreaves.

“One would have to edge out into this busy main road not knowing whether there was any traffic coming or the speed of that traffic and one wouldn’t see anything until half of the car had edged out into the direct path of the traffic.”

Chairman of the town council John Etherington said West Sussex County Council had carried out the necessary surveys of the site, but Mr Hargreaves’ concerns had ‘thrown a shadow’ over the proposals.

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