VIDEO: 'A potential recipe for disaster' - Littlehampton residents share parking fears

Residents have shared their fears about dangerous parking in a neighbourhood described by the fire service last week as ‘a notorious area for bad parking’.

People who live in roads including Gloucester Place, Howard Place and Eastham Road, have said there are daily instances of the kind of ‘inconsiderate parking’ that forced firefighters to approach a burning property in Linden Road on foot in the days after Christmas.

Concerned residents Cathy Beech, Wanda Tandy and Daphne Cox in Gloucester Place, Littlehampton

Concerned residents Cathy Beech, Wanda Tandy and Daphne Cox in Gloucester Place, Littlehampton

Wanda Tandy, of Gloucester Place, who has lived in the area for around nine years, said the issue was getting ‘worse and worse’.

“The kind of parking we have in the area is getting dangerous and I fear a death when emergency services cannot get through,” she said.

She believes a big part of the problem is commuters using the railway who park in these streets, sometimes leaving their vehicles ‘for days on end’.

She suggested parking permits for residents would go some way to help, and said: “At least the residents could park then.”

But Howard Place resident Derek Warby said a ‘key problem’ was too many residents vying for insufficient parking spaces, with several households owning two or even three cars.

With more and more homes being converted into flats, he said the number of residents was increasing.

In the narrow roads, built at the turn of the century before cars were a consideration, Mr Warby said: “It’s a potential recipe for disaster.”

He suggested that parking restrictions could help mitigate the problem by prohibiting rail commuters from parking in the roads.

Painting of bays could also ‘go someway to encourage people to park sensibly’, he added.

Helen Donovan, a mother of five who lives in Eastham Road, said she was often forced to walk in the roads because of vehicles parked on pavements and overhanging corners.

“Getting a pushchair around this area or crossing a road safely is a nightmare,” she said.

“Some cars look like they have been dumped, the parking is that bad.”

She called for an enforcement ‘crackdown’ with fines issued to vehicles parking illegally.

A spokesperson for Arun District Council said: “West Sussex County Council is responsible for putting parking restrictions in place, which are then be enforced by Arun District Council.

"In most of the streets surrounding the station there are no parking restrictions in place, so enforcement action cannot be taken.”

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “Residents can put in a request for us to look into parking restrictions at specific locations.

"This would need to take into account the wider surrounding areas so we do not just push similar issues onto neighbouring roads.

“Residents can also request a Road Space Audit to look at the parking demands across Littlehampton.

"This could result in a new parking scheme being put forward for consultation.

"Any potential future parking scheme in Littlehampton would have to incorporate a wide area and a large number of roads, so that it caters for the needs of all residents in the area.

“A Littlehampton parking scheme was last proposed in 2012 but was not taken forward by councillors.

“Any future schemes would require the support of county councillors, as well as the wider community.”