More than 300 people have signed a petition to end new parking restrictions near a beach in Cornwall.
For ‘60 years’ visitors and residents have been parking for free on the verges of the roads around Tregantle, according to Peter Cade who set up the petition.
In July this year these areas, which are part of the maintained highway and managed by Cornwall Council, had ‘no parking at any time’ signs erected and parking restrictions enforced, meaning visitors would have to pay for parking in different car park or risk getting a fine.
In his Change.org petition, Peter states: “Parking along the side of the road has been allowed for 60 years at Tregantle next to the gate that allows access to the beach.
“It has been used by generations of local dog walkers, surfers, families allowing amenity and exercise to a low income, retirement area of Cornwall. There has rarely ever been disruption caused by the parking. An expensive, gravel, unsupervised overflow car park 150 metres away is available on busy days but has dangerous access requiring families and pets crossing at least one busy road with no pedestrian crossing.
“There is no reason not to allow people to park between the hedge and the double yellow lines on the gravel opposite the Tregantle beach footpath yet the council persist on fining people for doing so.”
Peter continues: “At a time when we should be encouraging more people to stay active the council are restricting access to an amenity that has been freely available for years.
“We urge the council to remove the no parking signs from the gravel track north of the lay-by at Tregantle corner and stop fining locals and visitors who use the beach freely, and have been able to do so for 60 years. Car parking is getting more and more expensive in Cornwall, particularly affecting locals in traditionally low wage areas.”
Rose Smale from Sheviock feels the parking limits are having “a very negative effect on the local community” and that the “permanent signage and yellow lines really affects the character and initial impression of the area.”
Rose continued: “Public transport is limited within this area, meaning the majority of people have to drive here to make the most of it. Visitors have been able to freely park on the verge there for the past 60 years and having cars there does slow drivers down.
“However, instead people are expected to cross a busy 60mph main road with no safe crossing. Imagine having young children, being elderly or going to walk your dog.
“Ultimately I feel that the council should not monetise something that is so important for the well-being of the community.”
A number of petition signees have also posted to the online petition expressing their reasons for doing so.
One person commented: “Almost every bit of joy and freedom in Cornwall is being monetised. This was one of the one places left people could go to walk, go to the beach, surf etcetera without being charges a fortune. When cars were parked here people drove a lot slower down the road, now cars drive up and down this road far faster and it feels far less safe.”
Another said: “It’s pure greed from the council taking away yet another one of the freedoms nature provides.”
In response to the petition Cornwall Council have relayed a number of reasons for the new parking restrictions including ‘inconsiderate parking’ and ‘damaged grass and plants.’
A council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, and despite the claim in this petition, inconsiderate and poor parking in this area has caused disruption to emergency service vehicles and buses. Police have previously towed away vehicles causing an obstruction.
“The year-round restrictions were implemented in 2023 following a request from the local parish council in response to these access issues. A public consultation, which was promoted within the local community in line with statutory guidance, took place in early 2022.
“In addition to the restrictions which prohibit stopping on the road, a waiting restriction has been introduced to prevent parking on the adjacent verges, as parked cars have damaged the grass and plants growing in those areas and can also pose a safety issue during periods of wet weather when mud is then dragged into the road.
“Although parking is no longer possible in those places, the surface opposite the gate leading to the coast path/beach remains unrestricted.”
To view the petition visit: www.change.org/p/parking-at-tregantle-whitsands-bay-cornwall