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Free Christmas parking in Brighton and Hove set to be approved

10:19am Tuesday 12th November 2013

Free Christmas parking in Brighton and Hove set to be approved

A Christmas gift of free festive parking is expected to be agreed today.

Opposition councillors have joined forces with a proposal to waive charges at city car parks in Brighton and Hove to boost businesses.

Free parking would be offered at Norton Road, London Road, Regency Square, High Street and Trafalgar Street car parks on Saturday, December 7 and on the three Sundays before Christmas.

With two opposition councillors against one Green on the Policy and Resources Urgency Sub-Committee the plan is expected to be passed.

Check back here this afternoon for the result of the council vote.

Last week the Green administration of Brighton and Hove City Council called the plan “anti-business” and said it would cost £112,000 in lost income.

It argued charging encouraged turnover of spaces, reduced congestion and benefited businesses.

Green councillors offered an alternative plan to reduce prices at London Road and Regency Square, with free parking in Norton Road car park in the run-up to Christmas.

But opposition councillors will vote for the original plan, originally passed as notice of motion at full council last month.

Councillor Ann Norman, Conservative spokeswoman, said: “I simply don’t buy the argument from the Greens that this will lead to parking chaos, particularly as we are targeting car parks that are heavily underused, such as Norton Road and London Road.

“Let’s give it a go this year, look at the evidence and, if necessary, tailor it for future years.”

Coun Warren Morgan, Labour spokesman, said: “We are supporting these proposals to help small businesses and give shoppers a much needed boost in the run up to Christmas.

“Free parking has worked well for many other local authorities across England and is something we want to try as part of a sensible approach to transport across Brighton and Hove.”

John Streeter, of campaign group Unchain the Brighton Motorist, said: “The Reds and the Blues must stick together on this.

“They must keep on backing Brighton’s small businesses and their free parking Sundays.”

Chris Todd, of Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, said: “This costly proposal will grab the headlines, but provide no lasting benefit.

“The money wasted on this giveaway could be better spent on improving our main shopping streets.”

Mike Best, operations director of Brighton and Hove Buses, said “The car parks are already busy so this will create queues of cars, hoping to park for free, and many people will be disappointed.”

Comments(14)

Comments(14)

keswick says...
10:35am Tue 12 Nov 13

If the two main political parties could work together then they could render useless this Green administration. As correctly said give it a go and evaluate it but then the Green Party are totally against anyone driving in Brighton. And what exactly does Mr West propose to do do make the shopping streets more attractive ? As for Mr Best a comment bore out of total self interest. Not everyone wants to get on one of his over-priced buses and be insulted by his ignorant staff, which was my last experience of the service.

Notters_Seagull says...
10:54am Tue 12 Nov 13

Have to agree with the greens on this one. It's a daft idea that will reduce the number of visitors. Better to reduce prices across the board.

Golfer69 says...
11:09am Tue 12 Nov 13

Agree give it ago and see how it performs, then it can be enlarged next year or repealed. How can you be critical with out evidence ......

Eugenius says...
11:18am Tue 12 Nov 13

Brighton & Hove Bus Company have issued a press release condemning this expensive prank:

"Free car parking at certain car parks will cause congestion around the city. The car parks are already at capacity this time of year so this will create queues of cars, hoping to park for free, but the reality is people will be disappointed. Allowing free car parking, introducing more cars to the city roads is in total contradiction to the aspiration for cleaner air in the city."

whatevernext2013 says...
11:41am Tue 12 Nov 13

bit late for most people all my Christmas shopping is done and with the state of the city centre roads i don t go in to Brighton any more

kopite_rob says...
12:06pm Tue 12 Nov 13

I unfortunately had to go out across Brighton twice Saturday once at 1100 & once at 1400 and there were queues of 30+ cars at every car park slip road turning along the seafront, not exactly a sign of a City on its knees.
I also took a walk around town for the first time in a few months.
All I could tell that was different was most empty units are all being converted to food and drink offerings, not actually retail shops.
I don't see that free parking helps anyone, as once the car parks are full by 9am there's no inclination for people to leave and make room for others.
Perhaps free for 2 hours would have been better.

wexler53 says...
1:00pm Tue 12 Nov 13

I just wish Labour and Conservatives would work together on other more important issues to keep the green lunacy under control.

A bit of free parking is all very well, but challenging these nincompoops over expensive vanity projects such as Lewes Road, old Shoreham Road, and now Eastern Road would be more productive. All that money spent on silly things that benefit a minority, and a small one at that, while creating misery for the majority is hardly good management for our city.

Doubtless, we will have to endure yet another council tax rise as they waste it, giving not a jot about their duty to the people who they are supposed to serve.

And Labour/Conservatives will continue to let them get away with it.

Working on the premise that they will have only each other to worry about come election time as the greens implode is short sighted. Unless the electorate is persuaded to come out and vote, there's a risk we will be stuck with these green morons for another term.

Labour and Conservatives alike have a responsibility to us, the electorate, but I've yet to see them live up to it.

Likewise, the electorate have a duty to get out there and vote. But they need motivating, or there's a real risk we will end up being royally shafted by these green twits for whom public service is a lark.

Gribbet says...
1:00pm Tue 12 Nov 13

What an epic gamble

Fight_Back says...
1:03pm Tue 12 Nov 13

Eugenius wrote:
Brighton & Hove Bus Company have issued a press release condemning this expensive prank:

"Free car parking at certain car parks will cause congestion around the city. The car parks are already at capacity this time of year so this will create queues of cars, hoping to park for free, but the reality is people will be disappointed. Allowing free car parking, introducing more cars to the city roads is in total contradiction to the aspiration for cleaner air in the city."
And of course B&H Bus Company have NOTHING to lose from free parking do they ?

It's strange, when it comes to the 20mph zone the Greens keep claiming we should wait and see the success. So it's OK to spend £1.5m on that experiment to see if it works but spend £100k on this one and then evaluate the idea is a no no ? Proof as ever that Greens hate car drivers !!!!!!

Bob_The_Ferret says...
1:23pm Tue 12 Nov 13

The free parking on these few occasions will make virtually no difference to anyone, other than upsetting a few green councillors and Chris Todd - which means it gets my approval!

As for the fear that a few extra shoppers getting to park for free in some of the less popular car parks in the city causing catastrophic congestion - I suggest the doom mongers get themselves down to Lewes Road to see the daily congestion caused by the bus lanes, and to Seven Dials to see the ongoing delays caused while they trash the junction.

Meanwhile I'll be off to Crawley or Bluewater for Christmas shopping, safe in the knowledge I'm not being ripped off by NCP or the greens for parking charges.

From beer to uncertainty says...
1:24pm Tue 12 Nov 13

The council needs to impose emergency restrictions and hefty fines on shops, pubs, and restaurants playing "Do they know it's Christmas: Liveaid" and anything by Wizard.

Parking and traffic is nothing compared to the widespread misery this form of slow torture can cause. Just the introduction of Mariah Carey's "all I want for Christmas" seems to have etched the lines of misery into the collective psyche of anyone over the age of 30.

ARMANA says...
4:52pm Tue 12 Nov 13

Anything, that gives the greens a slap round its political face,

Bill in Hanover says...
5:08pm Tue 12 Nov 13

I know the Council are worried that they will lose £120,000 (which they need to plug this year's £200,000 'travelling community' overspend) but I imagine that their underhand tactic of stopping pavement parking on Elm Grove (which, when asked by the Council, the residents of Hanover said was acceptable) thereby forcing the vehicles onto side roads which will cause problems as there are just not enough spaces, which will allow the Council to implement a resident's parking scheme (again which, when asked, the residents said they didn't want) which will easily recoup the lost £120,000.

HJarrs says...
8:38pm Tue 12 Nov 13

Once again, nobody can demonstrate how this idea helps business, just that it loses the council money.

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