Coombe Road residents ask for consultation on parking zone

Riley Road packed with cars
Riley Road packed with cars

Brighton residents are petitioning the council for a consultation on a possible new controlled parking zone.

After restrictions in Hanover and Elm Grove came into effect last month, drivers in the area around Coombe Road noticed an immediate lack of parking spaces.

Local Action Team chairman Rebecca Barkaway said: “People are reporting they can’t park on their own roads. It’s stressful. Some people are parking quite dangerously on the corner of roads.”

The petition was initially triggered by the approval of the Momentum Lewes Road development which will house more than 1,300 students in accommodation with no allocated parking spaces.

The £150 million regeneration scheme covers four hectares including Preston Barracks and the University of Brighton's Mithras and Watts car parks, with demolition of the sites due to begin in November.

But already congestion in the area – which has a high percentage of houses in multiple occupation – has increased following the introduction of the neighbouring CPZ.

Community meetings resulted in the LAT’s decision to petition for a consultation on whether residents want restrictions in the area, which covers a rough rectangle around Bear Road, Bevendean Road, Natal Road and Lewes Road.

Those who attended the meetings said they were interested in a combination of permit-only parking in areas such as Riley Road and Dewe Road and light touch two-hour restrictions further up the hill.

Moulsecoomb and Bevendean Councillor Daniel Yates backed the consultation.

“It’s the community’s decision,” he said. “A consultation is appropriate to give everyone their say.”

But not everyone believes more restrictions are the solution to the parking problem.

Nick Moon of Redvers Road said: “The controlled parking zones are the cause of the parking problems, not the solution. All the CPZs do is push the problem further and further out.”

On a local community Facebook page many commenters agreed parking availability had recently decreased, however some were concerned the CPZs were a 'money-making scheme' for the council.

An additional complication for residents with large vans is under the current rules their vehicles would not be eligible for a CPZ permit.

“That’s why the consultation is so important, so those people can come along,” said Mrs Barkaway, who wants the council to listen to the different needs of all the residents.