14 October 2015

Parking revenues down, questions on Choccy Woccy Doo Dah, up

Parking revenues have dropped in Brighton & Hove - and one of the common questions a traffic warden gets asked is the location of famous shop Choccy Woccy Doo Dah.

Those are some of the nuggets of information in the city’s seventh annual parking report, just out.

The overall surplus for 2014/15, after costs, is £9.1m, down from £11.4m the year before. The council says the drop reflects the fact it has put aside more money to cover parking fines which are unpaid or cancelled - and the previously-reported collapse of the authority’s cash-collecting contractor. The firm went into administration owing over a million pounds from parking machines.

The report details how nearly all the surplus is spent on either providing 46,000 free bus passes for elderly and disabled people, or subsidising otherwise unviable bus services for social and economic benefits.

The total number of parking tickets issued has increased by just under 5000, to 122,737.  This was largely due to an expansion in the number of controlled parking zones, set up in response to residents’ demands.  New ones included Bakers Bottom, Preston Park Station North, Lewes Road Triangle, plus Bolsover Road and Wish Park in Hove.

The number of residents’ parking permits issued grew again, now standing at around 30,000 compared to 23,000 four years ago.

Numbers of permits issued at a discount to owners of low-emission vehicles increased to just under 5000 – almost double the figure two years ago.  Low-emission permits are half price – just over £60 a year in most areas.

A new initiative has been the publication online of live information of available spaces in car parks.  This currently covers London Road, Regency Square, The Lanes and Trafalgar Street. It is hoped to add on-street spaces in Madeira Drive and Hove’s Norton Road car park soon.

On the lighter side, the report features a profile of parking enforcement officer Antony Weir.  He says among the most frequent questions he is asked on the street are “where can I park for free?” and “where is Choccy Woccy Doo Dah?” – the chocolatier in Meeting House Lane made famous by a TV series.  He points out officers get no bonus for issuing more tickets.

Chair of the environment committee Cllr Gill Mitchell said:  “For a potentially dry subject, the report is always a pretty interesting read.  The point of the parking service is to give residents some control over their streets, fairly share out limited parking space, keep people safe and get the traffic moving.  We appreciate nobody likes to pay for parking but unless we do, the roads will be even more difficult and dangerous to use.”

Download our parking annual reports.