Business owner blasts ‘appalling’ parking as car park charges introduced

Cheryl Burnal outside Isherwood Investments in Sea Road, East Preston
Cheryl Burnal outside Isherwood Investments in Sea Road, East Preston

An angry business owner has bemoaned the ‘appalling’ state of parking in part of East Preston after the parish council introduced charges.

Cheryl Burnal from Isherwood Investments in Sea Road, East Preston, said illegal parking on double yellow lines and over driveways had spiked after parking charges were introduced in the car park in Willowhayne Crescent, East Preston.

Cars parked in Sea Road, East Preston. Left, the Willowhayne Crescent car park, which now has car parking charges. Picture: Cheryl Burnal

Cars parked in Sea Road, East Preston. Left, the Willowhayne Crescent car park, which now has car parking charges. Picture: Cheryl Burnal

As well as the charges deterring customers from shopping at the bottom of Sea Road, Cheryl feared the illegal parking could block emergency services getting to the scene of an incident.

She has called for the council to reverse its decision. She said: “I think the council just did not think this through and they did not consult properly with business owners.

“It is just ridiculous. We only have a few shops at this end and they are meant to be encouraging local business, but this is appalling.”

Cheryl said the parking problems began when the charges were introduced on October 16. They are 50p an hour for a maximum of three hours and £1 for overnight parking.

Cars parked in Sea Road, East Preston. Picture: Cheryl Burnal

Cars parked in Sea Road, East Preston. Picture: Cheryl Burnal

She claimed that while traffic wardens enforced parking fines in the car park, it was not so well policed on Sea Road.

Cheryl submitted a written complaint to the parish council on November 28.

In it, she said it was ‘totally unfair’ that there was free parking for shops further up Sea Road and that the council-owned Village Hall car park is also free to park in.

Business owners will attend a parish council meeting at 7pm on January 15 at East Preston Infant School where the issue will be discussed.

A council spokesman said charges were set to help pay for improved drainage in the car park, which needs annual maintenance, and because drivers would block bays by staying beyond the two-hour requested period, deterring customers from shopping.

They added that two businesses had contacted them about the parking issues, and that the council had set the charges ‘as low as it could afford to’.

They said: “Councillors are monitoring the situation by carrying out ad-hoc visits to the car-park, seeing its usage and the impact on the surrounding area.”