September meeting in brief – pt 1 parking on Elm Grove

Pretty much everyone would agree that arrangements like this (left) are a problem. You get a lot of this on Elm Grove where pavement parking is common. Enforcement powers exist on those stretches covered by double yellow lines, but this has not been carried out in recent years and at the moment – in parking terms – anything goes. Following concerns around the level of accidents and complaints about restricted access for residents and pedestrians, the council recently came up with a plan; namely that from October 3rd, those parking on the pavement where double yelow lines were in place would be issued a fixed penalty notice.

A number of residents were unkeen on this solution, which made the September LAT meeting busier than usual as this chance was taken to raise the issue with ward councillors. Because of concerns identified via the Elm Grove Residents Action Group the ward councillors had come armed with a potential compromise; to delay any enforcement action for a three month period to give time for further discussions with the local community and hopefully to arrive at an alternative approach for challenging illegal, dangerous and antisocial parking.

This outcome seemed broadly supported, although one resident who regularly faces problems getting into her home because of badly parked vehicles was unhappy about the delay. A mix of views was expressed, with the majority seeming in agreement that the worst examples of bad parking and pavement driving should be tackled, but that some form of better managed pavement parking would be neccesary to meet local parking needs. This was not unanimous, with some residents feeling that all pavement parking should cease in line with the highway code and existing legal powers.

The next steps: after he has confirmed that it is OK to put back the enforcement date Cllr Follett will put together a working group comprised of local residents, with specialist input from councill officers, police etc… and including comment from special interest groups such as disability organisations, cycling groups, and the school.

A sign up sheet was circulated at the meeting and quite a few residents volunteered to take part in the working group. Anyone who wasn’t at the meeting who would like to be involved should contact Cllr Follett – matt.follett@brighton-hove.gov.uk to find out more.

As more information becomes available about this process, it will be posted on this site.

The remainder of the meeting included a discussion of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) and a brief summary of this will be posted next. Both of these topics, and other issues covered at the meeting will be included in the full minutes, to be published in due course.

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4 thoughts on “September meeting in brief – pt 1 parking on Elm Grove

  1. I’d like to go, but unfortunately I have other commitments. Hopefully someone will see sense and find a way of keeping everyone happy.

    A possible solution that I would like to put forward, is to actually make the pavement smaller (it is currently massive which is why people park on it) and introduce parking bays perpendicular to the road (like they do in France) along both sides. This would have the following benefits:
    – reduce parking in the road and still set aside decent space for the large volume of pedestrians.
    – give uniform width along on the road for vehicles traveling up & down elm grove.
    – you could even have space for a cycle lane.
    – this would generate more parking spaces for the area and alleviate pressure on surrounding roads – which oddly seems to be opposite of what the council are attempting to achieve.
    – It would look nicer.
    – It would encourage local business.

    The Green council just popped a paper through my door yesterday to say that they’ve secured £4 million of funding for regeneration in the Lewis road area and another £4m for improving road safety and reducing emissions across Brighton.

    The only objection I’ve heard from the council for not investing in proper parking bays along elm grove is the cost (at least £100k) but surely some of this could be met from the funds earmarked for general improvement of the area and safety. Then local residents wouldn’t feel as though they’re being strong armed into being taxed by stealth.

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  2. Thanks for the comments Matt. To be clear, the highway code is very straightforward regarding pavement parking and its specific prohibition unless signs state otherwise: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_069860?CID=TAT&PLA=url_mon&CRE=highwaycode_parking and the same source equally states that double yellow line restrictions apply to ‘cariageway, pavement and verge’

    What we have at Elm Grove are properly held views on each side of the argument for greater or lesser parking restrictions, and a custom and practice which is at odds to most other streets in Brighton and elsewhere… Hopefully the round of meetings which the councillors are putting together will be a chance to get to the bottom of the current enforcement practice, its historical reasons and legislative basis, as well as finding out what the extent of the problems are for different road users/residents and how they can be resolved.

    Do hope that you will be able to come to the first meeting on Wednesday and be part of finding a lasting, community led solution to this thorny issue

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  3. Hang on, I just read this in the text above:
    “This was not unanimous, with some residents feeling that all pavement parking should cease in line with the highway code and existing legal powers.”

    Pavement parking isn’t illegal unless its an obstruction. I read this in the guidelines on a council website.

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  4. This is daft. This a picture is of someone’s car who has blocked the pavement unnecessarily. I walk up this bit of pavement every day and it’s normally fine. They should have given this guy a ticket for blocking the pavement.

    However, most cars parked on the pavement leave sufficient space for people to walk past with buggies or in wheelchairs without any difficulties. Why do we need to have all these discussions and meetings about this it’s simple. When someone does block the pavement (as in the picture) or the wheelchair ramps, they get a ticket. When they are parking on the pavement responsibly (Note this is a massive pavement which is clearly been set aside for parking) then they are left alone. There is no law against pavement parking unless it is an obstruction.

    I think the council have jumped on this issue after a few complaints about people as in the picture. They must think they can use this to generate revenue and hence they’ve threatened to ticket everyone, even those who are parking responsibly and with consideration to pedestrians.

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