12:52pm Thursday 25th February 2010
Residents of Preston Park now have to pay for annual parking permits in their area but this has been softened by the disappearance of the static vehicles that previously dominated the length of Preston Park Avenue.
Street resident Deborah Stephenson said: ‘It’s cleared out those unsightly vans that people seemed to be living in and also the commuters who took up space all day, which has been great. Last year it seemed that more and more of these vans were turning up every week and never leaving!’ The parking scheme was introduced at the beginning of last October was primarily in response to the number of cars parked around Preston Park Station and now commuters to the city have had to find locations often further out of the centre to leave their cars.
Brighton Council stated that the scheme came into effect after extensive consultation, including letters and questionnaires, with more than half of respondents opting for the restrictions and charges. However, they added that all feedback received may prompt a review at a later date.
Councillor Juliet McCaffrey had expressed concerns about the van dwellers simply being forced elsewhere in the city during the consultations, a sentiment which was echoed by other local residents who thought that the often large vehicles would simply move to the next available unlimited parking space in the area.
A former resident of Preston Park Avenue, Andrew Davies, said that the area was the last bastion of unrestricted parking within walking distance of the centre of town and that the emptiness of local streets now meant that meter prices are simply too high.
Mr Davies added: ‘If the purpose was to get rid of the twenty-four-seven ‘residents’ and allow for fair use of the parking available then it hasn’t worked because now the streets are almost entirely empty.’
By Chrys Hudson Lee
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