Silence from both local councils on parking issues

I WAS surprised and intrigued to read in the February 18 issue of LymeOnline that Dorset Council has committed to carry out a review of parking in Lyme Regis.

Is this is yet another apparently dysfunctional attempt to resolve a decades old problem?

My reason for saying this is that this planned review appears to further confuse and contradict a series of events over the past few years regarding parking issues with which I have been involved.

They are as follows:

2018 – As a result of a personal 999 incident it was obvious that access to Roman Road and Springhill Gardens could be seriously compromised due to inconsiderate parking.

Consequently I made a request, via Daryl Turner, to Lyme Regis Town Council, who supported and submitted a request to Dorset Council for parking restrictions in that area.

2020 – Being aware that it can take up to two years for a Traffic Regulation Order to be granted, I contacted Daryl Turner for an update on the 2018 application only to be informed, by email from Dorset Council’s highways department, that “no further progress on this one due to the low scoring it no longer features on the request list”.

Even more astonishing was the fact that Lyme Regis Town Council were not even advised of this decision. I did email town clerk John Wright for a comment but, true to form, did not receive a reply.

2021 – Prompted by the installation of parking restrictions in South Avenue, I raised the issue of Roman Road/Springhill Gardens again with both Dorset Council’s senior technical officer (highways), Dawn Heath and Daryl Turner. The outcome was a commitment to review the situation in June 2021.

I contacted Dawn Heath in July 2021 and a reply was received via Daryl Turner as follows: “Dawn has been off for a few days and we did discuss this a few days ago in Lyme.

“In a nutshell the request for double yellow lines would go on an extremely long list of Traffic Regulation Orders and would be possibly many years in the making because of higher priority projects throughout the Dorset Council area.”

Were Lyme Regis Town Council aware of this meeting?

2022 – I was made aware of a ‘meeting’ in Springhill Gardens on January 24 between residents of Springhill Gardens and an employee of Dorset Council concerning parking issues, presumably resulting from the three letters sent to the town council regarding issues in the area.

This meeting clearly contradicts what I had been told six months ago.

Considering my experiences to date, I sent an email to the chairman of Lyme Regis Town Council’s Town Management and Highways Committee questioning the reason for the meeting.

The reply confirmed that he was not aware of any such meeting and said that he would contact two other councillors about it.

Despite a further email from me, to date, I have not received any reply.

In view of this I put the same question to Dawn Heath at Dorset Council on February 17 and to date still no reply.

It clearly states on Dorset Council’s website that requests for new Traffic Regulation Orders need to be directed to the town council and that any such request should involve residents affected by a Traffic Regulation Order. The town council then submits a request to Dorset Council.

It is clear that throughout recent years and currently, this procedure has not been followed.

Furthermore, having not received, at the very least, any courteous acknowledgement of my emails, I feel that I am now being treated with contempt amidst a conspiracy of silence from both Lyme Regis Town Council and Dorset Council.

Some may well be justified in calling for LRTC to be disbanded, but in view of my experience, Daryl Turner’s parting comments and the increasing number of complaints against them, perhaps Dorset Council should also put their own house in order and that all parties learn to afford some respect to those they are here to serve and who fund their existence.

John Sullivan
(by email)

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