VOTE: Tempers fray over Midhurst parking shortage

Judy Fowler with her parking ticket

Judy Fowler with her parking ticket

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Frustration over the shortage of temporary car parking at the Grange in Midhurst during development of the new leisure centre is already causing tempers to fray.

This week a volunteer at the Grange Centre’s day care activities centre was unable to find a space, and another received a parking ticket.

Town councillor Judy Fowler said she was appalled with the overzealous attitude of Chichester District Council’s traffic wardens.

“First thing in the morning there was no problem finding a space, but then I had to go out twice to collect people. When I finally looked for a space at 11.19am, the car park was packed – in the only space left, I could not park horizontally to fit the bay as there were cars parked either side of me at right angles, so I parked in the same direction as the other two cars.”

When she returned to her car, she found a parking notice slapped on her car.

“In view of the pressures on car parking around the Grange caused by the building work for the long-awaited new leisure centre, I am surprised the attitude of the council’s civil parking enforcement officers is quite so draconian.”

Volunteer Lydia Boxley said she was also a victim of the car parking shortage. “I drove round and round the car park and couldn’t find a space at all; I eventually had to search the neighbouring roads. The pressure on this car park is far too great.”

Temporary space has been found for two Midhurst Community Buses in Budgen’s car park, and the Tandem volunteer buses have been given space in the temporary car park. But there remains a question mark over permanent parking for these vehicles once the Grange development is complete.

Chairman of the Midhurst Community Bus Association Nick Wheeler said: “We are pressing Chichester District Council to let us know what their long-term plans are, but so far they have not responded to any of our inquiries.”

A spokesman for the district council said: “We are currently working on further solutions that will hopefully generate additional spaces. However, we also need to make sure the spaces within the car park are being used correctly so that the maximum number of spaces are in use.

“If anyone feels they have been unfairly given a parking ticket, they can challenge it through the appropriate procedure and we would urge this member of the public to do that.

“We are working on a number of solutions as to where buses, including the community bus, Tandem and tourist buses, can park.”

What do you think?

Should Chichester District Council be doing more to ease parking at the Grange? Cast your vote in the poll to the right of the screen and leave your comments below.