Conservatives have criticised the Green Administration on Brighton & Hove City Council for introducing higher parking charges by stealth at some of the city’s key car parks.
At a meeting of the Transport Committee on Tuesday, tariff changes at the Regency Square (now renamed by the Greens as ‘Brighton Centre’) and Trafalgar Street car parks were pushed through by the Greens which will force visitors to pay for more parking time than they need. For example, at Regency Square, gone is the 3 hour tariff meaning that at the weekend, visitors will have to choose between a two hour charge of Ł7 or a 4 hour charge of Ł14. Similarly, the previous 6 hour tariff is to be scrapped meaning any stays of over 4 hours will cost either Ł18 (for 9 hours) or Ł22 (all day).
Charges at other Council run car parks are also increasing. Following the scrapping of the 3 hour charge at the Lanes Car Park last year (which was opposed by the Conservatives), 4 hours parking on weekdays will now cost Ł13, up from Ł12. So those who feel that 2 hours is not sufficient to go shopping or have a meal, take in a show etc. will have to pay this substantial sum. And in a particularly nonsensical move, charges are being increased by up to a third at Hove’s Norton Road car park which is massively underused. Central Hove councillors recently called for free weekend parking at Norton Road to help stimulate local business – a call that was rejected by the Green Administration.
Conservative Group Leader – Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald – said: “This is not the first time that the Greens have used this tactic on residents and visitors. Last year they scrapped 30 minute charges at many locations across the city forcing residents who just want to pop into their local shop to pick up a paper or pint of milk, to pay for a whole hour’s parking. The Greens are spinning the line that parking charges across the city are to be frozen next year but look more closely and that statement begins to unravel. Residents tell me that these sort of changes introduced by stealth rile them more than anything and it gives the city a bad name.”