Midhurst’s ongoing parking wars

Market Square before refurbishment ENGSUS00120130507151415
Market Square before refurbishment ENGSUS00120130507151415

THE war on parking in Midhurst has again been made the subject of discussion.

Resident David Duncan went along to a meeting of Midhurst Town Council on Monday to represent MOTRA – Midhurst Old Town Residents and Business Association.

This follows reports that town councillors are pressing for traffic regulation orders to bring back restrictions they believe were temporarily removed during Market Square refurbishment.

They said they were concerned residents were claiming spaces for long-term parking which were intended as short-term shoppers’ spaces.

David told councillors: “We in MOTRA are not happy about the changes to parking arrangements now being proposed by Midhurst Town Council (MTC).

“We wish to remind MTC that three years ago, West Sussex County Council’s (WSCC) north Chichester local committee set up consultation meetings to which all stakeholders were invited in order to consider permanent changes as proposed in the Market Square and Church Hill Improvements scheme.

“We wish to stress that MOTRA believed the parking arrangements shown on a WSCC/Chichester District Council/Midhurst Town Trust document were intended to be just as permanent as the yorkstone paving also shown on the drawing.

“We therefore do not understand why MTC wishes to make any changes just a year after the changes were completed, and even before any survey has been carried out to establish whether the recent changes have achieved their objectives.

“What MOTRA now asks is that MTC talks to other interested parties, listens to them, and arrives at a consensus (as WSCC did three years ago) before submitting any proposal to WSCC.”

Councillors want one-hour restrictions for all on-street town-centre parking and want to reintroduce one-hour north and south of the war memorial as well as on Red Lion Street and Sheep Lane.

Cllr Colin Hughes said: “We can only make recommendations, we are not the authority to decide the outcome.”

Cllr Gordon McAra added that parking regulations could not be changed or implemented ‘overnight’.

It was suggested that other interested groups attend discussions and the proposals go before the next finance and general purposes committee.