Sunday, 7 November 2010

Parking Mad

I put on my Living Streets local contact hat last week,  and went along to Brighton and Hove City Council’s Environment Cabinet Member Meeting at Hove Town Hall.  I was there to lend moral support to Chris Murgatroyd, who is leading a campaign to get the 20mph default speed limit adopted in Hove’s Goldsmid ward…….and by extension, the rest of Brighton and Hove (see my earlier blogs). Despite the excellence of Chris’s deputation, and the logic of his case, his plea was sidelined by Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, the said Cabinet Member for Environment. So the struggle to get a 20mph default speed limit across Brighton and Hove goes on – an outcome that was much as expected. But the most striking thing about the meeting was something else - the amount of time devoted to the subject of car parking. The meeting started with nearly half an hour of deputations about car parking, mostly demands for changes to the rules in particular areas of Brighton and Hove. Most extraordinary of all was one woman, who, whilst presenting her petition, noted that she had lived in her house for 28 years and was now thinking of moving “because of the parking.” She mentioned that some families had already moved house for the same reason. It’s hard to believe that people are prepared to uproot their home and family in order to find a better place to park their car. From now on, when I hear people say that the parking is driving them mad, I’ll know what they mean – even if it isn’t what they think it is.

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