14 January 2015

Parking fee proposals - some up, some down

The council is clarifying the current position on parking prices.

Regarding a reported ‘doubling’ of charges: the one-hour rate at some car parks is proposed to increase from £1 to £2.  One such car park, The Lanes, fills to capacity every weekend, even in the middle of winter.

The £2 fee marks a return to the prices of 2012 and is 50p less than was charged in 2011.

Regency Square car park has 10 pricing bands, based on duration of stay.  In seven of these prices are proposed to drop, in two they would remain the same, with only the one-hour rate increasing.

Fees and charges are reviewed annually to ensure they cover the cost of services and provide value for money. The majority of parking prices have been frozen for three years, but proposals for the coming year include some modest increases as well as reductions to some car park charges.

Parking charges are one way of improving air quality and easing congestion in busy hotspots. Higher charges in the city centre help manage limited space and encourage people to consider areas where there is greater capacity and lower charges. Fewer people driving all the way into the centre also reduces queuing for an available space.

Along with reductions for shorter periods in Regency Square car park, one of the proposals for the next financial year is to cut the annual season ticket for this car park by half from £2,000 to £1,000. Regency Square is just off the city centre, within walking distance to Churchill Square and opposite the seafront - so offers a great opportunity for people who would like to park close to the main facilities throughout the year.

Any surplus income from parking in Brighton & Hove is invested back into transport schemes for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors. The parking surplus in 2013-14 paid for free bus travel for older and disabled residents in our communities (£10.2 million) and some publicly-subsidised bus services. Councils are required by law to provide concessionary bus travel for older and disabled people – but receive minimal government funding for it.  If parking cash was not available the money would have to come from council tax or other services.

The remainder was invested in road maintenance, road safety and public transport improvements.

The proposals for fees and charges will be decided by the environment, transport and sustainability committee on 20 January.  The report can be seen on the council’s website among the agenda papers.