Anger over ‘dangerous’ parking by visitors to Southwater park

Southwater Country Park
Southwater Country Park

An influx of visitors to a village beauty spot has left residents fuming over traffic chaos in the area.

Families in Southwater say that visitors to Southwater Country Park have left their vehicles strewn around residential roads near their homes.

They say many cars have been left in ‘dangerous’ places and, in some areas, buses have been unable to get through the village.

Problems came to a head in hot weather last week when the country park car park was full. An overflow car park was later opened at Southwater Business Park.

But angry residents took to social media to complain about the chaos and complaints were made to the parish council and Horsham District Council. The district council is now urging people to ‘be considerate to local residents.’

Earlier, residents had called for more signs to be erected in the village directing people to car parks and for visitors to be urged to use a park and ride service.

Some also urged the district council to scrap its £1.50 park parking fee which they said deterred some visitors from parking there, leaving their cars in nearby roads instead.

This weekend a new parking notice was erected warning visitors to the country park to “be considerate to local residents and follow signage for parking instructions.

“It is not acceptable to obstruct bus routes, park over driveways or block sight lines and pathways. Thank you for your cooperation and we hope you enjoy your visit.”

And in a post on social media today, the council said: “Heading to Southwater Country Park over the summer holidays? Please be considerate to local residents and follow signage for parking instructions.

“The summer holidays are a particularly busy time of year at the Country Park. Why not avoid the crowds and visit one of our other countryside sites in the district? Take a look www.horsham.gov.uk/…/parks-and-…/parks-and-countryside-sites