On Tuesday afternoon, the councils Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee met and the issue of illegal pavement parking on Elm grove was discussed. Following a detailed debate the reached this decision:
50. ELM GROVE, BRIGHTON- MANAGEMENT OF HIGHWAY PARKING AND OBSTRUCTIONS
Contact Officer: Owen McElroy Tel: 29-0368
Ward Affected: Hanover & Elm Grove
1. That Committee notes the outcome of the public consultation on a scheme for environmental improvements in Elm Grove and that it is not proposed to proceed with the scheme in view of the majority of residents who responded being opposed to the scheme.
2. That Committee authorises officers to organise a joint initiative with
Sussex Police to co-ordinate enforcement of parking contraventions,obstructions and other nuisances on the public highway in Elm Grove later this year.
This means that in due course council and police officers will commence and continue enforcement action to deter illegal parking along Elm grove (that is parking on the carriageway or pavement where a double yellow, zigzag or other relevant parking restriction is in place).
A resolution from the LAT which requested that the proposed enforcement should be delayed to enable a community response to be developed was presented, but a majority of councillors felt that this could not be applied – partly because of the councils obligation to fairly enforce the law, and partly following concern around the risks to vulnerable pedestrians using the pavement and the likelihood of accident and injury. it was also noted that the constraints in the area made it unlikely that any new scheme would differ very much from the scheme arrived at with the previous local working group, and which was rejected at consultation earlier in the year.
The committee chair Cllr West commented that although enforcement action would go ahead, this would not stop ward councillors and the community from looking at the issues and developing responses which may address some of the outstanding issues which would remain around parking and vehicle use in the area. As the planned enforcement would only affect those areas with double yellow or similar restrictions, substantial parts of Elm Grove would continue to tolerate pavement parking, and this may be something which could be addressed
Thanks to Jonathan Tilley for this video of the debate.
One of the local ward councillors, Matt Follett, has been working with local residents to look at improving the access, safety and the environmental issues caused by parking in Elm Grove.
Although no official permission or regulation has been passed to allow cars to park offroad on the pavement or hardened verge of Elm Grove, this has been common practice for many years. However, as car ownership increases, the volume of vehicles parked on the pavement in these roads has also increased.
The issues include:
• cars driving along the pavement
• cars causing obstructions by parking next to pedestrian dropped kerbs and bus stops
• cars parking right up to the junctions on the pavement, reducing visibility for cars pulling out or turning into side roads
The lack of enforcement on cars parked behind the double yellow lines makes it difficult to enforce other breaches in Elm Grove and the adjacent streets at the moment.
We have been working with local residents to try to address these issues. We have carried out vehicle and pedestrian counts, and discussed driver behaviour as part of our working group, which included residents from Elm Grove and adjacent roads.
We believe a scheme making general environmental improvements to Elm Grove could help relieve the issues around pavementparking, and would like your views.
The proposals include installing designated free parking areas alongside other improvements to make Elm Grove a more people-friendly environment, such as providing benches or re-instating grass verges.
If the results of this consultation are positive, we’ll then need to identify funding to carry out the work over the next couple of years.
Our intention will be to enforce against parking adjacent to double yellow lines either on the road or on the pavement. If there is not public support for the improvements, we will give residents and local businesses plenty of notice before beginning any parking enforcement. This would only take place where there are existing double yellow lines and bus stop clearways,
and would include cars parked on the hardened verge/pavement or carriageway. No new lining will be introduced.
Questionaires have been sent out to addresses inthe area, and an online questionaire can be completed on the council website at the consultation portal. Additional copies of the questionaire can be downloaded using the links at the foot of this page. If you require more information before filling in the questionnaire, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01273 293693
There will be a further formal traffic order consultation stage if the scheme is taken forward. This will allow you to comment further.
4461 Elm Grove Parking Consultation – r7
4461 Elm Grove Parking Questionnaire – r2
Thanks to Cllr Follett for this update.
Following discussions over process and funding and other issues I’m happy to say that we can now move forward towards a quality of life improvement scheme in Elm Grove that will hopefully improve matters around pavement parking and other problems, ( although of course there can be no such thing as perfect scheme ! ), and will make a visual and lived difference in the quality of life of those living around and those using Elm Grove. I’m advised that we have carried out a high level of informal consultation via the Elm Grove parking group and beyond, and that we can now move on to formal consultation as resources become available and we can fit Elm Grove into the Council’s work programme.
I’m also advised that taking forward such a scheme does of course have significant financial implications and, if formal consultation results were in favour of a scheme, would most likely mean taking place over an extra financial year in order to pay for it. In an ideal world we’d consult and then have all the money we need, but given current finances I’d prefer a scheme to take longer than to not take place at all.
Also given that we can now move on to the formal consultation stage, we can now consider the Elm Grove parking group concluded and can return the ‘borrowed’ transport sub group of Hanover and Elm Grove LAT to looking at wider issues of transport in the area more generally, which is also a positive.
Thanks to all those who contributed to all the discussions that lead us to where we are now, it took a while but has been worth it.
Cllr Matt Follett
The first meeting of the Elm Grove Parking working group took place on Wednesday October 12th. About 40 residents turned out for a lively and (sometimes) heated discussion chaired by Cllr Follett. As a first formal meeting it aimed to try and reach a consensus, taking account of the views of those most keen on better enforcement as well as those most concerned about potential loss of car parking, and acheived this quite well.
It was clear that all present could agree around some priorities (i.e. dangerous/obstructive parking and driving is not welcome) and agree initial actions, despite not agreeing at all at this stage on what the outcomes should be. At the end of the meeting it a second event was arranged for Tuesday November 8th, hopefully at Elm Grove School (to be confirmed), where the group can look at more detail, and with clearer information at the current enforcement regime as a precursor to considering potential changes.
Such is the interest in and complexity of this subject that a new section of this site has been dedicated to pavement parking at Elm Gove. (see tabs above) This includes a place to store the deliberations of the Working Group, a page for council reports and other formal information, and a page for and community generated information or helpful links.
Information posted so far includes; notes from the most recent meeting, more information on Elm Grove collision statistics and a resident initiated vehicle count for Elm Grove. Those on the Working Group email list will be contacted shortly regarding the next meeting. If you are not on this list and would like to be, please let us know by using the comments box below. (comments left here are not automatically published – if you would like to leave a message but not have it published please indicate this in the message text) or by emailing email@example.com
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org 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.