A MOTORBIKE shop owner in the Hornet, Chichester, has revealed how the council sent an email to a neighbouring shop confirming the removal of bikes from outside his shop.
Mr Richard Morgan, from CMW Motorcycles Ltd, received a printed copy of an email, pictured right, between Andy Ekinsmyth, head of transport at West Sussex County Council, to Nick Carpenter, owner of Male Concept mens hairdresser in the Hornet.
The email was passed to Richard from a neighbouring shop who claimed the email had been posted through letterboxes of businesses in the area.
The Hornet has a bay for 30 minutes’ parking running the length of the street on one side.
Speaking at Chichester City Council’s meeting on Wednesday, June 20, Cllr Jamie Fitzjohn, from West Sussex County Council, said: “At 5.29pm on Friday, June 15, an email went out from a highways officer. It should not have gone out. It was poorly written, it was poorly managed and he has sincerely apologised to me because on the Saturday morning while I was in London, I had a barrage of telephone calls asking me why the county council is banning motorcycles in the Hornet.
“We are not banning motorcycles in the Hornet. Unfortunately, his email stopped with the words ‘motorcycles will be removed’ and he didn’t finish the rest of the sentence as it went out.
“I have actually spoken to the owners of the motorcycle shop numerous times and gone back to Highways and negotiated the traffic regulation order that they are looking at doing.
“The current situation is that cars can park in the bays along The Hornet for 30 minutes and then they have to return and move the vehicle. Motorbikes are exempt. As part of council policy, we are actually extending that time from 30 minutes to an hour but including motorcycles.
“What I have done, is negotiate that outside the shop there will be a parking bay for motorcycles exempt from penalty charges because we do not want to cripple their business.
“As I presented this to the owners, their exact words were: ‘Wow, thank you, that’s more than what we could have asked for’ so they are extremely pleased. There are 50,000 Facebook comments at this moment in time and some motorcyclists may be protesting but a number of them are going back and saying: ‘hold on a second, this has now been resolved’.”
Mr Morgan said: “We have never had a problem with the parking. We didn’t even know, until this all came about, that motorbikes are actually exempt from the 30 minutes anyway. Even though, we had been moving our bikes to comply with the 30 minute limits.”
“The warden’s here have harassed us. It is absolutely incredible what the council have done about this. It was a completely underhanded method by them.
“We wouldn’t have known about this, unless one of our neighbours had shown us this email.”
Cllr Peter Evans said: “As a keen motorcyclist I’d like to thank Cllr Fitzjohn for the work he has done for getting legitimate parking there.
“It’s a good thing because you can go and visit that shop and there is no where else to park in the area at the moment for bikes and so this will make it better for them as retailers and us as motorcyclists in the area.”