Action to stop motorhomes permanently parking on Worthing seafront

Camper Vans on Marine Drive, Goring. Photo by Derek Martin. since restrictions were imposed the problem has now been reported in West Parade
Camper Vans on Marine Drive, Goring. Photo by Derek Martin. since restrictions were imposed the problem has now been reported in West Parade

Action to stop motorhomes being permanently garaged on a stretch of Worthing’s seafront has been given the go-ahead by county councillors.

A ban on overnight parking of motor caravans in Marine Drive and Marine Crescent in Goring was agreed in 2016, but problems have now been reported by residents living in West Parade.

People were regularly living in the motorhomes ‘causing a lot of angst’ for local residents, according to Paul Yallop, who represents the Marine ward on Worthing Borough Council.

Plans to progress a traffic regulation order (TRO) to impose restrictions to address the problem were agreed by West Sussex County Council’s Worthing County Local Committee earlier this month.

Afterwards Edward Crouch, another borough councillor for the Marine ward, said: “This is a victory for common sense. The new TRO will start to design out this misuse of the highway and prevent a selfish few from long-term garaging their motorhomes to the detriment of the seafront

“This case showed that people power works. Residents, supported by their local borough and county councillors have made this happen.

“The process will take some time to fully implement but the message is clear, the seafront it not the place to store your camper van.”

It was suggested by a member of the public that people living in the motorhomes were at risk of homelessness and should be receiving support.

County councillor Paul High (Con, Worthing West), chair of the committee, explained that all the people staying there had been approached by outreach teams.

He said: “All of the vehicles have been approached in the correct way by the council. Some has had a positive effect but some had a negative effect.”

Cllr Crouch described the situation as a ‘hard core of people who do not wish to engage and refuse to move their camper vans where they have to pay’.

One resident described how along with all the coach parking ‘if you take away the sea it looks like a service station’.

Another West Parade resident described how the area was a ‘wonderful place’ for children and families to visit, but the large number of motorhomes parked there was leading to safety concerns.

As the committee can only recommend a set number of TROs to be progressed, several CLC members backed other schemes.

Bryan Turner (Con, Broadwater) suggested a ban ‘won’t work’, while Bob Smytherman (LDem, Tarring) said: “I do not think bringing in a TRO to solve an environmental and anti-social issue is the right way to do it.”

But Roger Oakley (Con, Worthing East) argued the parked vehicles in West Parade was a ‘serious road issue’ and had safety implications that needed to be addressed.