Parking issues sparked a lively debate at a council meeting on Wednesday night (November 21).
Eastbourne Borough Council met at Eastbourne Town Hall and discussed the shake-up of the pay-to-park scheme in the town.
Cllr Steve Wallis brought the matter to the council because he said he felt he needed an ‘urgent’ meeting with East Sussex County Council about its latest parking proposals and to discuss the issues the town has had to deal with since the pay-to-park scheme was first introduced to the town centre in 2008.
The latest plans will see the parking restrictions extended to other areas of Eastbourne.
Hampden Park, Meads and roads near to the DGH which currently have no parking restrictions will have new controls, and countless roads in the town centre will be changed to time limited zones or permit holder only bays.
They are being suggested in a bid to ease parking problems in residential areas near the hospital and the university as well as stop commuters parking outside shops all day.
Parking has been a controversial issue in Eastbourne since East Sussex County council introduced its unpopular scheme in 2008 and these latest changes have also met opposition.
Anti pay-to-park campaigners say residents and businesses who asked for changes haven’t got them and those that did not will see unpopular changes.
Speaking at Wednesday night’s council meeting, Lib Dem Cllr Steve Wallis said, “According to East Sussex County Council, these latest parking proposals are as a result of two years consultations and what is planned is at the request of residents. I find this astonishing, for when others and I looked at what is being proposed, for example in Devonshire, the actual demands of residents and what the parking team at county had submitted, seem to completely contradict each other.”
He said one example included the council plans to install double yellow lines in Pevensey Road despite there being 64 letters of objection.
Cllr Wallis said East Sussex County Council had agreed to look again at the plans in Pevensey Road following the concerns from residents but he described the council’s actions as ‘back tracking’.
Tory Cllr Caroline Ansell told Cllr Wallis, “You call it back tracking, I call it listening.”
Other Conservative councillors suggested the Lib Dems should speak to council officers at East Sussex County Council.
Cllr Wallis described some of the comments as ‘patronising’.
He said, “I have been speaking to councillors at East Sussex County Council, the trouble is they haven’t been listening.”
Cllr Wallis held up a folder with 120 letters from angry residents and said, “What sort of consultation costs £200,000, takes two years to get through for this to happen. The consultation was flawed.”
Despite the lively debate between the Lib Dems and Conservatives, the motion was carried.