Delay to High Street parking scheme blasted

Cllr Michael Jones SUS-140728-172030001
Cllr Michael Jones SUS-140728-172030001

Delays to a parking scheme which Crawley Borough Council paid more than £5,000 to implement have been blasted as “completely unacceptable”.

In April 2013, West Sussex County Council was paid £5,150 by the borough to put in place a Traffic Restriction Order (TRO)to prevent drivers from parking on the pedestrianised area of the High Street.

The order was scheduled to be in place by April 2014 before delays saw it put back to December.

It is still not complete and now Cllr Michael Jones (Lab, Southgate and Crawley Central) has called on the county council to get on with the job.

In a letter to Cabinet member Cllr Pieter Montyn, Cllr Jones said: “I consider it is completely unacceptable for these delays to continue any longer. The scheme has been advertised and gone through all the legal processes.

“There can be no justification for any further delay, and we are now approaching a year since this TRO was meant to be in place.”

The borough council has been working to bring more life to the High Street – and a public consultation conducted in July 2013 showed two-thirds of residents and businesses who took part were keen to see the parking abolished.

Cllr Jones said: “I’ve written to the Cabinet member as I think we’ve passed beyond reasonable delay and are going well into what is unacceptable delay.

“We’re talking about something that was first discussed three years ago.

“It’s not like the High Street doesn’t need a boost – the High Street desperately needs a shot in the arm.”

A county council spokesman acknowledged concerns had been raised about safety as well as damage to street furniture due to drivers parking on pedestrianised areas.

He said plans for a Restricted Parking Zone had been approved and were expected to be implemented before the end of the financial year.