Simon from Scotland Street sent us a copy of his response to a leaflet that has been distributed to many local houses:
Thank you for the letter which you posted along my street giving your views on the proposed parking scheme for the area. I have to say that I disagree with your viewpoint, and would like to let you know why this is.
The main points that you raise are that; 1. the proposed scheme would see a reduction in available parking spaces which would mean that residents would find it harder to park than at present. 2. the purpose of the proposed scheme was not to tackle parking issues, but to make things easier for the council refuse and recycling service.
On the first point – speaking as a Scotland Street resident – we need a reduction in parking to one side of the street only in any event, as our street is too narrow for parking on both sides. Currently large vehicles get stuck and parked cars get damaged on a daily basis. At the moment, one car on the street has been left sticking out just a bit for a few days, and every passing Asda van knocks new chunks out of it.
If we had an emergency and needed – for eg – the fire service, they would find it hard to get along the street. You live on Albion Hill, which is wider and with limited double sided parking and don’t have these problems, so perhaps don’t appreciate them, but they are significant.
Walking around the streets, you see a lot of cars, so it seems common sense that reducing parking availability will be a problem – but its not so straightforward. As the closest free parking to the city we have a lot of commuter and visitor parking. Abutting the Queens Park and Richmond Heights zones we have a lot of cars owned by people there who do not wish to or cannot get a permit for them.
All meaningful research – the census, council surveys, residents surveys – into levels of car ownership, have pointed to the same conclusion; only around 50% of households in Hanover have a car. It is hard to be exact on this, but it seems a reasonable prediction that – even with the reduced capacity suggested – there will be sufficient space for residents cars. Without a scheme, and remaining the free carpark of Brighton, this will never be the case.
As someone commented to me recently ‘even if I have to drive around a bit looking for a space, at least I know it will be my neighbours cars taking up the room, and not people from all around using my street as a free car park’
So no – I disagree with your view that there will not be enough space, and I feel that this reduction would be beneficial in any event.
Regarding your second point about the council refuse service, this wouldn’t be a material concern regarding a parking scheme. The council already deploy narrower refuse vehicles for our streets -although this is a problem when they are off the road as it is true that the standard sized trucks don’t fit, but i have never come across this argument presented in this way. Do you have any evidence, or reason to think that the council are trying to manipulate the parking proposal in this way which you could share?
The current situation is just not a civilised, efficient or practical way of running our neighbourhood. It disadvantages residents and is only a benefit for those from outside the area wanting free parking. We need residents priority and we need control, and so I support the proposed scheme and shall be voting to reflect this.