VOTE: Parking plans take toll of residents’ criticism

Plans to restrict parking in Midhurst’s Ashfield Road have been slammed as unfair on residents by town councillors.

They claim the proposals would increase parking problems for those who live there rather than solve them.

Members of the finance and general purposes committee were examining the latest scheme from West Sussex County Council to alleviate the traffic nightmare in Ashfield Road and Ashfield Road spur which is exacerbated by cars dropping off and picking up children from Midhurst Primary School.

Residents have complained they are unable to park outside their homes and emergency vehicles and refuse collection vehicles have also experienced difficulties.

Last year Midhurst town councillors said their preferred solution to the problem was the creation of a new pedestrian entrance to the school from Bepton Road, which would take cars away from the Ashfield Road altogether.

If this could not be achieved they wanted double yellow lines on the corners of the Ashfield Road spur continuing all along the south side of the spur and single yellow lines on the north side.

They wanted the restrictions to prohibit parking between 8am and 6pm on weekdays.

The new scheme proposes to convert the existing single yellow lines on the corners of Ashfield Road spur to double yellow lines and introduce double yellow lines on the south side of the spur road where there are currently no restrictions.

“Much of the reason for these proposals is to deal with cars coming and going from school, they don’t care what lines they park on, as they are only there a few minutes,” said town councillor Colin Hughes.

He said parking restrictions would make the lives of residents more difficult than they were already.

Under the government’s current Big Society plans, he added, it should be possible for a school group to create a new entrance from Bepton Road with a gate and a pedestrian walk way.

He told the meeting he had already spoken to the new head of the school about his idea and even suggested where funding might be available from the county council.

Gordon McAra told fellow councillors he believed 8am to 6pm restriction which included Saturdays were ‘grossly excessive’.