Parking charges frozen for second year

From today’s Argus:

Parking charges are to be frozen in the coming year – with some tariffs even falling.

After netting £18.36 million in parking revenue in 2012/13, Brighton and Hove City Council has announced it will freeze the majority of its rates for the second year running.

As an added boost to motorists, some of its tariffs in multi-storeys will be reduced – despite inflation running at 2.5%.

However, it still means those parking on the street in the city centre will pay £3.50 an hour and up to £20 for a day on the seafront.

Green councillor Ian Davey, the authority’s lead member for transport, said: “The last parking charge increases were agreed three years ago in order to help manage demand, cut traffic volumes in the city centre and encourage people to visit under-used car parks and areas where there is greater capacity.

“Since then parking charges have been frozen, and we have also been flexible with the current pricing, adjusting some tariffs at the request of residents and traders.”

The plan, which will be voted on by the council’s transport committee on Tuesday, includes lower tariffs at Regency Square and London Road car parks. It means weekend prices at both will be the same as weekday rates.

In Regency Square, which locals report is widely underused despite a wider £4.2 million revamp, this is a saving of £2 on one, two, four and 24-hour stays and £1 for nine hours.

After a technical fault at its car parks, the local authority is also proposing to combine its evening (£4.50) and night rates (£5).

This means people can leave their vehicles in The Lanes, London Road, Regency Square and Trafalgar Street car parks from 6pm to 11am for £9.50.

Opposition councillors said they supported the freeze on the majority of tariffs.

Conservative councillor Graham Cox said it had only been agreed with “reluctance and a lot of resistance” by the Green administration.

He added: “There is still a need to change the perception that Brighton and Hove is a council which rips visitors off. For that reason we would like to see the council go further, with targeted reductions at under-used car parks.”

Coun. Cox also called on the local authority to reduce the “excessive” cost of resident permits, which are £120 a year.

Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “Having caused uproar with their massive parking price hikes, we welcome the freeze and the few price reductions offered. However, we feel there is still room for the Green administration to offer greater flexibility within the charging structure to ensure local shopping areas are supported.”