Parking clampdown around Southwater Country Park

Parking along Cripplegate Lane in Southwater. People have been parking along the road as they do not want to pay the �1.50 parking charges for the Country Park. Pic Steve Robards  SR1623895 SUS-160823-124739001
Parking along Cripplegate Lane in Southwater. People have been parking along the road as they do not want to pay the �1.50 parking charges for the Country Park. Pic Steve Robards SR1623895 SUS-160823-124739001

Urgent action has been taken to tackle a parking nightmare along a road near a popular village attraction.

Dozens of complaints have been made about people parking in Cripplegate Lane in Southwater.

Residents say cars have been parking along the side of the narrow road, mounting the kerb and blocking access for vehicles and pedestrians.

Horsham District Council said the problem had been caused by the popularity of Dinosaur Island over the summer holidays and the warm summer weather.

A spokesman said: “Horsham District Council has taken urgent action to deal with inconsiderate drivers who park along Cripplegate Lane – that runs at the side of Southwater Country Park.

“A temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) authorised by West Sussex County Council was put in place on Friday (August 19) which will enable council officers to enforce on-street parking restrictions along the lane and therefore ease congestion and improve access for local residents.”

The Country Park has two designated car parks, off Worthing Road and Station Road.

Last Wednesday (August 17) the council opened an overflow car park at Ben’s Field.

It has created 70 extra spaces but has not been able to reduce the problem.

“Despite additional parking being made available, visitors still parked thoughtlessly on residential roads, causing obstructions and access issues,” a council spokesman said.

“The council will be applying to West Sussex County Council for a permanent Traffic Regulation Order, whilst the temporary order is in place, to cover the season from April through to October each year. The council’s request for the order will be subject to normal consultation. If the TRO is approved, arrangements will made for the necessary signs and road markings to be provided and final notices will be advertised in a local paper stating when the Order will come into effect.”

Residents, however, have blamed the introduction of a £1.50 parking charge, brought in by the council in July, for the problems.

Jonathan Chowen, deputy leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture at HDC, said: “We are of course very pleased that the Southwater Country Park and the Dinosaur Island Play Area is as popular as it is, drawing in visitors from across the district.

“We did take measures to increase car parking capacity when improvements had been made to the Country Park last year, but with the great weather it has been a very popular destination over the school summer holidays. However, its popularity cannot be at the expense of the quality of life and safety of local residents, which is why we had to look for some immediate solutions.

“I am confident that the additional parking and enforcement actions that have been put in place will provide immediate relief for local residents. We will of course continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Southwater councillor Claire Vickers, who is Cabinet Member for Planning and Development, added: “The situation for residents along Cripplegate Lane has been very difficult for the past few weeks and I would like to thank local residents for their patience during this difficult time.

“We have put in place a number of temporary measures to deal with the situation urgently whilst we seek a longer and more permanent solution to the problem.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.