“Please add any comments to support your answer”:
Ideally extended car park would have litter bins & dog poo bins but I know these have been tricky to get through the council. Could their be a car park fee if this is successful? Maybe able to fund bins and materials for car park in the future?
These problems wont go away and this is an important first step towards an overall plan. We should be clear about how long the trial will go on for, what the review process will be, and how we will measure the effectiveness of the trial.
The reality is The Ram is so popular it needs its own car park – the overflow allows for this option, and provides an option to stop people driving through the village seeking parking.
More parking space, more people will come. It’s like the roads: more roads, more cars are incouraged to travel.
I would prefer the car park to be left as it is. There is a limited number of parking spaces and this means that cars go elsewhere when it is full. It is self regulating. If you extend the carpark it will attract many more day trippers and overnighters too once word gets out. You can’t build your way out of a problem – just like the proposed dualling of the A27 would attract traffic away from the M25. The increase in traffic in Firle would bring more air pollution, rubbish and general busyness to a place that has a limited capacity for more visitors. The Street at present between the Ram and the shop can only just cope with the numbers of walkers, cyclists that arrive every weekend plus the increase in cars and vans. To make more facilities for parking is asking for more congestion once people move out of the carpark up through the village. The overflow carpark would also drive more and more people to drink at the Ram Inn which is already increasing their outdoors capacity a lot for the summer season. Encouraging more and more people to use Firle as a drinking haven changes the atmosphere of the village in a damaging way. If we are not careful Firle village will have lost the delicate balance between a working village and a tourist destination and the quality of life for the inhabitants will be lost forever.
It is time the residents of the village are put first. A larger visitor car park is a long overdue step and can only help the dreadful situation residents have to put up with now. A height barrier will help illegal overnight camper vans. It needs to be made very clear that there is no visitor parking beyond the visitor car park in the village. We need to make sure there are enough bins and dog poop bins within the car park to support the additional number of visitors coming to a Firle with clear signage about taking litter home. This is ugly but necessary now, the rubbish/ dog poo bags situation is out of control.
Litter and the rubbish bins need to be addressed, the small one in the car park is broken and overflowing most of the time. If the extension goes ahead this needs to support extra visitors.
I suspect increasing capacity will simply lead to more visitors but we won’t know unless we try. We also need to be clear how we will measure success or failure of this trial
Although i agree the village cannot cope with the volume of cars on some weekends, I don’t think an overflow car park will do anything other than encourage higher volume of visitors.
As long as parking is forbidden in the village centre AND the bar across the entrance to the car park is reinstated to prevent high vehicles (caravans, motor homes, etc parking over night) and travellers.
I’m pleased to have a chance to comment on this issue. I am concerned that the Ram has over the last few days, extended its out side seating area around the “beach” area. In so doing they have eliminated the parking spaces used by their customers outside of the pub, I am therefore concerned that these customers will in future choose to park in resident parking areas of the village, this was already a significant issue last summer, prior to this additional “beach parking having been removed. I’d like to suggest that the Ram take some responsibility for this, and employ a parking steward to monitor its customers parking, and ensure safe and sensible parking that allows residents to leave and enter the village without obstruction}
I feel the more parking will lead to more visitors
If a trial could demonstrate visitors will not use The Street as an overflow carpark then that must be a good thing.
Yes, much needed additional car park!
One issue might be that as until a trial is done one wouldn’t want to spend money on tarmacking the area. There be a problem with mud deterring people from parking there as most people doesn’t want to get their feet dirty stepping out of their cars. I think Charleston have mats which seem to work well. Might be worth considering.
Cars get parked all the way along the Street to the Kennedy’s making 2 way traffic difficult and potential problems for emergency vehicles
More parking capacity may well lead to more cars and a larger version of the original problem. The size of the village limits extreme numbers of visitors. Providing large amounts of carking even if considered temporary at the beginning could start a honey pot situation as seen in most Lakeland visitor villages where before the long the village is a major attraction and by accident we have destroyed the quality of the place that attracts people in the first place. Is the solution better dedicated parking for the tenants and owners. 15 or so spaces between the Estate yard and the dock could work.
More parking will only encourage people to come. If they come and can’t park they will so go elsewhere
Parking is really tricky on the Street at weekends especially
The parking should be restricted rather than expanded, as in resident only parking on the Street and some areas with bollards at pinch points that are dangerous and unpassable for emergency vehicles, for example from Firle Cottage past the pub towards the allotments. If the car park is extended the village will still be full of cars and it will just keep filling up. I think this way it keeps the village as a nice place to live in and visitors numbers to an acceptable level as it has become really unpleasant during weekends, to the point we cant get our cars out, or if we leave the village we cannot get back in. It will encourage more litter, more overnight stays and encourage even more people to visit. It feels counter-intuitive to expand the car parking and will only make the problem worse.
i’m not sure if it might not attract more visitors so support a trial to find out
I feel it will definitely attract more visitors if parking is made easier
I think the way to manage the parking problem intelligently is to RESTRICT the parking and not increase it. In this it will also help with managing the numbers of visitors. (More on that later) As was touched on in the piece above, if you open another parking area it will pretty much fill up immediately and therefore we haven’t managed the problem. What then do we do – open another? And so it will go on. Think about when a new road is built to ease congestion – it very soon is as busy as the road it replaced.What we will have succeeded in is increasing the amount of cars entering the village and there will still be parking up the High street. We make more parking and more numbers will turn up to an already (at times) saturated beauty spot. Everywhere but particularly places of beauty have a sweetspot of visitor numbers. Too many and you do a disservice to not only the residents but the visitors themselves. The visitors are not turning up in their mindless drones wishing to be part of a horde marching up and down the street. They want to come to a place that is pleasant and gives them a unique experience of a quiet rural village. Nobody likes too many people and you can be sure that most people who come here would say it’s very busy. As an example, Birling Gap has increased it’s parking over the years and it’s still difficult to find a place to park at weekends. All they’ve done is increased the visitor numbers and somewhere in that Birling Gap has lost it’s magic. I don’t go there anymore, I’ve found other places to visit. At Ditchling Beacon there is only so much space to park and no more. People turn up circle around for a place and leave if they’re not successful and they’ll go and find another place to go for a walk. And so it would be here too. Whether it’s by design or I suspect more circumstance, it manages the numbers at an already busy spot. I propose that the car park stays as it is, there is no overflow and we restrict the areas of the high street where people can park with bollards as I understand that we don’t want/can’t have double yellow lines. (On a separate note, I would be in favour of double yellows at certain points in the High Street – I’d rather have the ‘ugliness’ of them, than the ugliness of so many parked cars that you can’t appreciate the beauty of the street. And the ugliness of two broken bikes opposite Black Tile house. And the ugliness of knocked over bollards. That’s ugly. Double yellow lines have been a part of British street furniture since the 1950’s But I digress …) I will put up with bollards if it helps to tackle the village overwhelm. Restricting the parking might feel like a counterintuitive idea and perhaps feels at odds with our idea of our being nice folk but trust me it’s a win- win to all concerned.
There should be a height restriction to discourage camping. 2.. clear solid boundaries to prevent growth of the parking area.
The boundaries to be clear, so it can’t grow. The entrance to be narrow so it can only be accessed by cars, a height bar to stop overnight camping.
Plus clear signage and visitor behaviour requests. Explore Charleston car park surface gridding
We think it’s a good idea to extend the car park on a trial basis, as long as the area is prepared for cars. If not, then the rain will cause the field to turn into a quagmire, which will require tractors to come and pull people out.
I think it’s important to state on clear signage that you are requested to not go any further into the village by car. ie – residents only to park beyond this point.
We agree to the extension car park for a trial period but also think the parking on the streets within the village should be made residents only parking with clear signage.
I think any extension will probably encourage more people to come to Firle
Having been a resident here for 15 years it’s very clear that the number of visitors has increased significantly. An absence of parking spaces is unlikely to reverse this so I think it’s better to respond to the problem. The way parking is stacked all the way to the school means that access for emergency vehicles is a real problem and the parish council really needs to find some arrangement.
I think that this seems a sensible solution
Walking and biking activities have increased enormously this past year and more parking off the village street would be beneficial.
Providing yet more parking is a slippery slope towards total dominance of cars. Can enough parking ever be provided? Initially it may be best to look at ways to try and restrict the demand by introducing charges and deterrent with sanctions to overspill parking on/off the village road system.
But do feel it should be monitored. Some weeks there are a lot of walkers and not so many cars and then the following one there is cars cars and more cars. Do feel the allotment bit of road needs to have something to stop people parking as it is so narrow in a lot of places and you can end up in a ditch ????
The car park is already almost full without the Pub being open. During the summer and an open Pub there will be a lot more disruption for people living along the Street if there is nowhere else to park. That might cause blockages ,more traffic and less parking space for locals.
Happy to try anything which reduces the current trend of visitors parking in The Street, especially outside my house. Visitors seem to be parking anywhere now, with total disregard for the people who actually live here.
“PLEASE GIVE OTHER SUGGESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE FOR REDUCING OR MITIGATING VISITOR CAR PARKING PRESSURES IN FIRLE”
There should be residents parking between the Ram and the Post Office.
If people know it’s difficult to find parking space in Firle, they organize themselfs in a different way: share a car, come by train to Glynde, come with a taxi, bicycle, cuckmere bus on weekend.
Carparking pressures can be mitigated by encouraging people to car share, arrive by bus (at weekends) train or bicycle. To encourage dependence on car use is the thing to avoid. To that end some notices along the Street between the Ram and the church advising that the spaces are primarily for villagers use would help a lot. Introducing a parking fee for using the car park would be a good idea – this would also limit numbers , and make it a prerequisite to show the parking ticket before ordering drinks at the Ram.
We need to make the village as pedestrian friendly as possible. We love visitors and want to encourage them- just not their cars and rubbish. Apart from delivery vehicles, and tradespeople whose parking is time-limited, the whole of the street needs to be residents’ only parking except for a couple of spaces near the shop for those coming from outside the village to use the shop and post office. There is no reason why residents couldn’t have a residents’ badge in their cars so it is clear who is allowed to park where. The older / disabled residents of the street should be given their own parking bays opposite their houses. If residents’ friends and family are unable to walk from the visitor car park perhaps a visitors permit scheme can be introduced. The pub management should take considerable responsibility for the amount of extra traffic in the village and be proactive in making it clear that customers should only park in the car park, not beyond the pub, this is especially the case down the private road to the Estate office/ yard where pub customers use residents spaces, block home entrances and drive up and down unsafely looking for parking.
resident only parking on the street but not road markings/ cones etc to spoil the feel of the village. Something sensitive to the environment.
A car park near A27 entrance to Firle to stop traffic into the village and encourage walking.
A decision needs to be taken, to make the village resident parking only, with all visitor parking confined to the field to the left of the entrance to the village from the A27. Signage should remain and be more directive in encouraging visitor routes which do not transverse “the street”.
I would propose the village adopt a residents parking only approach along The Street. Whilst this can’t be enforced by law, having signs depicting this as a residents only zone, and residents cars having a badge in the window would hopefully discourage many visitors from parking along this stretch of road. If residents have anyone staying with them they can lend them a temporary resident’s badge. As things stand it is no longer possible to go out of the village at weekends, as you will be very lucky to be able to park in The Street again on your return, even if you’ve only popped out for a short time! And if you have a car full of shopping, forget it!
“Residence only” parking signs in the street
I suggest we have several directive signs: VISITORS’ CAR PARK
Can’t think of alternative measures apart from Residents Only signs in The Street which would spoil the old world character of Firle. Very good, clear signage will be needed to persuade folk into the car park.
Restricting parking, bollards, and resident only parking on The Street
charge to park in the park!
Possibly a walkers / cyclists car park somewhere near Crossways?
Clear signage plus polite ticketing
If the car park is designed properly, ie. as a car park with designated places to park, more cars would be able to get in. At the moment its very random with cars blocking access to spaces.
Put up ‘You are entering the SD National Park’ sign at A27 turnoff with a friendly welcome. Encourage visitors to use either car park at top of downs or village car park only. We would appreciate no parking on streets. Encourage visitors to give a donation of £2 towards the car parks upkeep in boxes provided. Encourage visitors to pick up dog poo with advice on danger to livestock.
Perhaps the street could be permit parking only. I appreciate this would need to be enforced.
Aside of the slightly impractical solution of introducing a residents parking scheme I am not sure there is anything else you can do.
I think there should be residents only parking on the Street
Lobby/campaign for an improved bus service at weekends and during summer months. Introduce parking charges for use of the car parking provision.
Short stay (4 hours max only) car parking.
to ask visitors to park not in the street.
Additional parking at Firle place Vouchers ( or 2 for the price of 1) for people showing a valid train /bus ticket to use in the Pub or reduced entry fees for Firle Place. Parking fees
Anything to support local residents only parking along The Street. Even signs emphasising this and giving people residents badges for their car windows. I find it particularly frustrating as I am now somewhat frail and unable to walk far to get to my car. I rely on my neighbours to put out a traffic cone when I go anywhere in my car. I would even support having a disabled parking bay if it would mean I didn’t lose the place outside my house, though I’m conscious this may not be popular with other residents.