4 June 2014

Sunday parking charges reviewed

Councillors will discuss Sunday parking charges at the next meeting of Brighton & Hove’s Policy & Resources Committee on 12 June.

The committee will consider three options for Sunday parking; offering free parking both on and off street on Sundays; partial free parking on Sundays, including an extension of the lower rate winter season from four to six months (1 October to 31 March) or referring alternative suggestions for parking charges to an end of year annual review.

Parking management, including the charging structure, plays a key part in handling the wider traffic demand and easing the pressure on parking. Enforcement of parking controls also helps improve road safety and accessibility. An effective parking charges structure supports the economy by encouraging turnover and reducing congestion, increasing footfall and spend.

A report to the committee outlines how on Sundays during the summer months city centre and seafront car parks fill up quickly. Pressure on parking on a busy weekend is sometimes higher than at other times during the week.

The cost to the council of providing free Sunday parking is estimated to be £2.6 million each year and an additional £1.035m one-off funds to implement. With such measures the report notes that there is a risk of potential additional congestion and reduction in air quality, which might make Brighton & Hove less attractive as a destination.

Councillor Jason Kitcat, chair of the Policy & Resources Committee, said: “Brighton & Hove is one of the busiest tourist destinations in the UK, with our economy outperforming the region and shop vacancies far below London’s rate. Offering free parking on a Sunday is likely to create more congestion and actually make it harder for those driving to find a parking space. That would have a negative impact on our economy. Retail research shows that parking controls encourage a turnover of customers that benefits nearby shops.

“Offering free parking on-street would also mean residents would find it harder to park near where they live.

“We will need to consider these significant impacts when deciding whether to adjust charges, and the report recommends looking at Sunday parking as part of the annual review of all parking charges.

"We have to balance the needs of residents and visitors and support measures that make it easier to travel around the city with people using a variety of transport options.”

Options that could be taken forward as part of the annual review could include promotional rates at Norton Road, London Road and Oxford Court car parks where demand is low on a Sunday.

Calls for the council to look at free parking on a Sunday were brought to the council meeting in March through a petition. Councillors decided to consider the issue more fully at the Policy & Resources Committee and look at options for free and reduced parking charges on a Sunday.

More information 

Read the reports for the Policy & Resources Committee (this item is agenda number 9): http://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=689&MId=5090&Ver=4