Leading Conservatives have described proposals for further above inflation increases in parking charges as counterproductive and a kick in the teeth for the city’s residents, businesses and visitors.
Proposed increases, to be discussed at next week’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee include:
• Above inflation increases in the cost of resident, visitor, business and trader permits of up to 7.7%.
• A doubling, from £1 to £2, of the hourly rate in city centre car parks.
• Increases in on-street ‘pay and display’ rates across the city of up to 6.7%.
Overall, the proposals are expected to raise an extra £800k in revenue for the Council. Brighton & Hove already raises £25.8 million from its parking operations – the highest out of any Council in the country outside London.
Conservative Group Transport Spokesman and Parliamentary Candidate for Hove & Portslade, Graham Cox, said: “The proposed increases are completely inappropriate and are a further blow to residents, businesses and visitors in the city who have already had to put up with huge increases in previous years. We will do everything we can to try and reverse these proposed hikes and to put an end to the ‘parking rip-off’ reputation that Brighton & Hove has unfortunately gained in recent years.”
Group Finance Spokesperson, Ann Norman, added: “the Council continues to refuse to look at ways to save money on services by alternative provision and shared services and prefers to take the easy option of hammering the city’s hard-pressed motorists. They seem to be blind to the fact that this will affect visitors to the city and our business community who are the lifeblood of the local economy. If, as the Council continues to maintain, parking surpluses can only be spent on other transport initiatives, we suggest that they cut back on these rather than yet again raising our already exorbitantly high parking charges.”