9 January 2017

Parking charges mostly frozen for next year

Most parking charges across Brighton & Hove are likely to be frozen for next year, with a few exceptions to regulate high demand or improve things for local residents.

The proposal comes in a new council report, following a review of parking demand.

The main change for 2017/18 involves measures to increase parking bays available for residents and decrease the large resident permit waiting list for Zone M in the Brunswick and Adelaide area.

The neighbourhood sees the highest number of complaints from residents who are unable to park near their homes - with 272 households currently waiting for a permit. Changes will enable the release of more Zone M permits. To reduce pay-and-display demand for bays shared with permit holders, prices would go up from £3 to £4.20 for two hours and from £4 to £6.20 for four hours. It is expected this will increase parking turnover and cut pollution from cars being driven around in a search for spaces.  To make more room, Zone M would be extended to encompass over 100 parking spaces on the nearby seafront .  These have the same pay and display costs as the proposed increase in Area M, allowing the two areas to merge.

Elsewhere in the city, pay-and-display fees would largely be frozen. Standard residents’ parking permits citywide would remain at £130 a year. 

Overall the new pricing structure aims to raise an extra two per cent in parking revenue. This is mainly intended to cover inflation and contribute towards funding transport improvements in the city. Any surplus generated from charges is used to improve transport, subsidise certain bus routes and provide free bus passes for older and disabled people.

The council says 80 per cent of on-street parking in the city is still £1 an hour.

Environment committee chair Cllr Gill Mitchell said: "These fee changes are carefully targeted to manage exceptional demand and congestion in the city centre by ensuring an optimum turnover of spaces. We particularly want to help residents living in the seafront Brunswick area by providing them with more permits and parking availability."

Some permits such as those for traders, doctors or schools will go up by between seven and 17 per cent.  The biggest rise will be an extra £1 a week for traders’ permits.  However they will still only be paying less than £2 a day - which is a lower cost than a day visitor permit.

Hotel permits remain the same price – as do charges for most car parks and the seafront.

Prices for four-hour parking in congested Rottingdean High Street would rise from £4 to £4.20 to ensure it is comparable to other low tariff areas.

London Road car park would get fixed prices all week aimed at making it relatively more attractive on Saturdays while reducing high demand from mid-week car commuters. It means for example parking for four hours during the week rises from £5 to £6.00. By contrast parking for 24 hours on Saturdays decreases from £17.50 to £15.

Regency Square car park would accommodate strong demand, partly related to the i360, by increasing two-hour charges from £4 to £4.50 and four-hour fees from £8 to £9.

Busy Trafalgar Street car park near Brighton Station would increase one-hour prices from £2 to £3 and two-hour charges from £4 to £6.

A full list of proposed changes to on-street, car park and permit fees is in a report going to environment committee on January 17.  It can be found among the committee’s agenda papers elsewhere on the council’s website.