Pressure builds to decriminalise parking in Bexhill

Parking around Bexhill. SUS-151013-123613001
Parking around Bexhill. SUS-151013-123613001

Businesses, residents and councillors are calling for parking to be decriminalised to stop the crippling effect it is having on Bexhill.

They claim parking regulations are not adhered to which causes illegal parking and nowhere for visitors or tourists to leave their car.

Car parked on double yellow lines in Bexhill

Car parked on double yellow lines in Bexhill

Rother District Council is one of 17 authorities out of 330 in England and Wales not to take responsibility away from police who claim they have more important things to deal with.

East Sussex County Council would be made responsible for the parking should it be decriminalised.

A county council spokesman said: “Parking enforcement across Rother is currently the responsibility of the police.

“Decriminalised parking and civil parking enforcement, which would have to be implemented across the entire district, requires an application to the Department for Transport and would be the responsibility of the highway authority, in this case East Sussex County Council.

A car parked on the bus stop in Bexhill

A car parked on the bus stop in Bexhill

“The county council is aware of the mixed feelings about parking enforcement locally in Bexhill and is happy to continue the dialogue with Rother District Council and local residents and traders.”

The issue was brought up by Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman in the House of Commons when questioning the police minister.

He asked whether Mike Penning would consider forcing councils to take responsibility for on-street parking on top of their own car parks.

Mr Penning said it is a matter for the local government department but said: “I do not think issuing parking tickets is a role for a police officer.”

Vehicles parked right up on the pavement in Bexhill

Vehicles parked right up on the pavement in Bexhill

This may highlight how police do not prioritise illegal parking and that the issue should not be dealt with by them.

Collington cllr Douglas Oliver said: “I have met with traders and they are saying businesses are seriously affected by the people’s inability to park in the town centre.

“Until someone takes the initiative, nothing is going to happen.”

Alan Whitt said the problem is shoppers, office workers and even some shop workers are flouting the two hour parking limit because there is no one to enforce it.

A report about decriminalised parking will be discussed by the district council’s overview and scrutiny committee on Monday, November 23.

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