Since Friday (22 May) the council's civil enforcement officers (CEOs) have issued more than 180 penalty charge notices (PCNs) to drivers who have not parked in line with restrictions in the Witterings and Manhood Peninsula.

At the moment the privately-run West Wittering Estate car park is open, but with reduced capacity in order to meet social distancing rules. As a result, parking spaces have to be pre-booked before travelling to the area.

The district council is reminding people intending to travel to West Wittering that if they don't have a pre-booked space at the estate car park, not to travel there.

"Residents in West Wittering and Selsey are rightly very concerned at the amount of dangerous and illegal parking that has been happening, and I would like to reassure residents in our coastal areas that we are doing absolutely everything in our powers to address their concerns," says Councillor Martyn Bell, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council.

"During the summer we always factor-in enforcement in our coastal areas as there are more visitors, but due to the current circumstances we have increased the number of CEOs patrolling these areas. We have been carrying out extra patrols since lockdown measures were relaxed on May 13 and will continue to focus on this. We have also been liaising very closely with the police and local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) as well as making sure that our own council-run car parks are open. In Selsey, we have also opened up the overflow parking on the Marine Drive car park to encourage visitors not to park on the roads.

"People are turning up for a day out at the beach in West Wittering who haven't pre-booked a parking space. After finding out they can't park there, they are then parking in residential roads, often parking on yellow lines or blocking pavements and verges and causing serious obstruction. This is both dangerous and inconsiderate to emergency vehicles and pedestrians, especially those who have disabilities, or those with young children and prams who are then forced out into the road.

"Unfortunately we have had instances of drivers willing to accept a fine so they can enjoy a day out at the beach, but we would urge people to reconsider their stay if they don't have a pre-booked space at the West Wittering car park or if cannot park in one of the council's own car parks in Selsey.

The council's CEOs are only able to take action against a vehicle where there are yellow lines or sign restrictions in place. They are not able to take action in private roads or on pavements or driveways where there are no restrictions in place. These would be dealt with by the police.

Members of the public should contact the police if there is an immediate problem which is a danger to the highway.

People can find more information about Chichester District Council's Parking Services.

Date of release: 28 May 2020

Reference: 3880