THERE will be an increased police presence in roads around a Littlehampton Primary School following a meeting to tackle traffic issues in the surrounding area.
West Sussex County Councillor Ian Buckland chaired the public meeting inside River Beach Primary School, in York Road, on Thursday night.
He was joined by head teacher Judy Grevett, Ben Whiffin highways manager for West Sussex County Council and Sergeant Jon Chapman from Sussex Police.
Speaking afterwards, a resident of York Road, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “All the residents feel like the parking situation is becoming out of control.
“The area is growing, so it’s not only an issue with school parking, it’s an issue with people travelling on to London and people working in the town. There’s got to be a solution because we can’t park in our road anymore.
“It was more productive than the last one. We come away feeling more enthusiastic. Having the policeman there made a huge difference. Ian Buckland is really backing us up. He does work hard.”
Sgt Chapman said he could not promise residents that PCSOs would be stationed in roads surrounding the school at all times because their roles were expanding. But he added: “I think as a result of this meeting you will certainly see more of them in this area.”
Fed-up residents expressed annoyance at being unable to park outside their homes throughout the day due to commuters leaving their cars while they spend the day working elsewhere. Parents parking in neighbouring residential roads to drop off and pick up their children rather than free nearby car parks was also a cause for concern.
Mr Buckland said: “We have had people in authority reduced to tears because of the ignorance and abuse they have been given.
“For me, I love the school and the teachers but it’s just in the wrong place. It’s smack bang in a residential site.
“What it’s going to take is education, at the end of the day. I think the future may be reopening the case for a controlled parking zone (CPZ). I have got four other areas within the local vicinity that would like to see the CPZ happen.”
According to ukmotorists.com, Controlled Parking Zones are used by local councils to address particular parking problems in a community – usually in order to help residents park near to their homes.
Mr Buckland distributed a print out of an email he received from Miles Davy, West Sussex County Council’s lead professional, parking strategy team, to residents in attendance.
The email outlined the current parking situation in Littlehampton.
In a Joint East Arun Area Committee meeting in November 2012 councillors decided that council officers should not continue looking into parking scheme proposals for the town.
The council is piloting a ‘holistic’ approach to parking management in Chichester with a report due in the new year.
Mr Davy said: “Parking in towns such as Littlehampton would, I believe benefit from this approach although I cannot be specific at this time when such work might take place and would of course need to be considered alongside any proposed development.”
Mr Buckland told the residents that they had been let down before he became a county councillor.
He described the non-attendance of officers from Arun District Council responsible for parking as ‘deplorable’ and said it showed a lack of partnership.
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