“Absolute joke” – angry Seaburn residents react to Sunderland City Council’s parking proposal

Residents living on Seafields Estate in Seaburn have launched a petition, describing the Council’s proposal to introduce a Car Parking Management Scheme (CPMS) in their neighbourhood as “an absolute joke”.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 5:00 am

Under the proposal, cars belonging to non-residents would be prohibited from parking on the estate between 10 and 11am, 2 to 3pm and 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Residents from 38 of 44 households have signed the petition calling for the proposal to be scrapped.

Residents’ spokesman Ray Barker, 68, said: “This is an absolute joke which is only going to create more problems. We don’t have a parking problem on the estate and all the signs will do is advertise there’s now free parking for 21 hours a day and encourage people to start parking on the estate – what’s the point of that?

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Seafields resident Ray Barker beside double yellow lines on the estate.

In November last year, residents previously petitioned the Council over parking issues on Lowry Road leading into the estate which they believe has been exacerbated been by the removal of free parking on the seafront.

However Ray said the solution put in place has only served to “create more problems”.

He added: “We asked for parking restrictions on Lowry Road but the Council have left gaps in the double yellow lines which people visiting the beach or seafront bars are now parking in. Some of these cars are being left overnight and we even have lorries parking in the gaps.

"There’s no reason for the gaps – it’s not what’s required. People in these gaps are also parking up on the pavement causing an obstruction for pushchairs and mobility scooters.”

Seafields resident Ray Barker and others are angry over proposed parking measures.

The petition is backed by Fulwell ward councillor, Michael Hartnack, a resident on the estate for 24 years and who believes the broken yellow lines are creating a danger for motorists.

Cllr Hartnack said: “The council have even left gaps on the bends and parked vehicles are causing a clear obstruction to traffic. There has already been one collision. If they’d closed the lines there wouldn’t be a problem.

"The council have misread and misunderstood the situation. There also isn’t a parking problem on the estate. The biggest problem now is the broken yellow lines on the approach road.”

Vehicles, including a bus, parked on a bend where there is a gap in the double yellow lines.

Cllr Hartnack believes signs highlighting parking restrictions will only create an “unnecessary problem”.

He added: “People who opt for a CPMS need to be aware, especially those in areas such as Seaburn, that restricting an area for two or three hours a day, actually has the effect of authorising such parking for 21 or 22 hours a day and motorists will naturally exploit such opportunities.”

Responding to concerns, a spokeswoman for Sunderland City Council said: “A gap has been left in the double yellow lines to allow for some parking to reduce the number of vehicles migrating from the entrance road into residential areas causing further issues.

"Officers are currently monitoring the impact, taking on board residents’ comments and looking at options for the future.

A driver's view showing the obstruction on a bend caused by vehicles parked in the gap between the double yellow lines.

“The council is currently carrying out a public engagement exercise, funded by Avant Homes, to understand if a CPMS is something residents would like to see on the Lowry Park and Seafields Housing Estates.

“The current engagement ends on October 29 and the outcome will be fed back to residents. A CPMS is only ever installed in areas where residents are in favour.”

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Fulwell ward councillor, Michael Hartnack, believes the Council's parking management strategies have created more problems than they have solved.