Overnight parking to be banned on New Brighton seafront

Overnight parking will be banned on New Brighton promenade after more than 100 vans were parked there for months.

Wirral Council is planning to bring in an experimental parking restriction from 17 April which will last for 18 months until October 2025. Before this expires, the council will look at whether it should continue indefinitely but this would be subject to public feedback by 17 October 2024.

This will see “waiting” banned on much of the prom from 11pm to 6am. The roads affected include Coastal Drive, King’s Parade, and Bayview Drive with restrictions extending to the car park near the Wallasey Boating Lake near Marine Point.

The ban is being brought in after more than 100 vans linked to West Wallasey Van Hire parked on the promenade between January and March leading to heavy criticism of the company as people visiting Wallasey beach were unable to park on the seafront.

West Wallasey has now apologised and in a letter to councillors said it had “suffered from vandalism to vehicles, threats from members of the public, loss of business and damage to reputation.”

The vans have now moved off the promenade after the company signed a temporary lease with Wirral Council to use a regeneration site on a former gas works in Wallasey as well as three others for two years. 

In March, the company said, “We also wish to be clear that the parking of these vehicles was in no way a protest as has been suggested. Rather it was a measure of last resort when the Gas Works site, repeatedly promised to us throughout 2023, failed to materialise.”

The company previously said, “The overflow of around 100 vehicles was caused by a sudden return of rental vehicles which had been supplied to businesses and local authorities on a temporary basis when vehicles were in short supply.”

Wallasey Conservative councillor Ian Lewis had called for restrictions to be brought in. He said, “I would like to see the prom returned to how it should be so it can be used by visitors during the day and residents.

“Any measure that can achieve that is worthy of consideration. This is the response to the actions of West Wallasey and the concerns of many residents over the last few months.”

He said he hoped the new restriction would send a message, adding, “It’s a shame that the council has to do this.”

Labour Wallasey councillor Brenda Hall said, “It is crucial to ensure ample parking spaces for both our community and visitors. The feedback from the public during this period is valuable and will inform the council’s decision on whether to retain this parking restriction or explore alternative solutions in the future.”

However, concerns have been raised about the ban by the New Brighton Coastal Community with a petition getting 309 signatures so far. Adam Crouch who started the petition said he was “alarmed” by the proposal, adding, “This decision will not only affect me but also our local businesses, community groups, beach and water sports users.

“A ban on commercial vehicles for a short period in the night would stop a repeat of the West Wallasey Van hire issue. Our beloved promenade and beach are integral parts of our community.

“They serve as gathering places for families, friends, tourists and locals alike. The proposed parking restrictions will make these areas less accessible to everyone who cherishes them.”

Cathy Roberts from the New Brighton Coastal Community said, “It’s an experiment that will last 18 months and it will put one of our businesses out of business,” adding, “I don’t think any of the residents asked for that. They asked for the vans to be gone.”

However Wirral council leader Cllr Paul Stuart said the order was being brought in following “requests from ward councillors and local community groups to implement this experimental order following the disruption caused by the excessive number of commercial vehicles parked in the area in recent months.”

A link to the petition can be found here

Image: Vans parked on King’s Parade on 26 February. Credit: Ed Barnes

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