Hove residents slam council’s plans to get rid of light touch parking Brighton News

Ann Ellis, who lives in Rothbury Road, Hove, said the current parking system in West Hove “suits everybody” but new plans are being “forced” on them.

The system in place now means residents with permits for zones W and L, in Wish ward, can park freely in their permit zone at any time.

There are two hours each day where permit bays are restricted, between 10am and 11am and between 7pm and 8pm. At these times, people without residents’ parking permits are not allowed to park there.

But new plans will mean these light touch areas could be removed and people would either need a permit or have to pay to park between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Sunday.

The residents are being consulted and can choose to stick to the current scheme and face a rise in their annual permit price, or have the new scheme introduced and their permit price frozen at current rates.

“We object to it being forced on us,” Ms Ellis told The Argus. “There is no consideration at all. I can understand these measures in the city centre but this is a residential area. The vast majority of people will want to stay as we are but this price increase is not fair.”

A New Church Road resident said: “It is outrageous that once again motorists and residents are being targeted to make up for the abysmal record of this council. We campaigned long and hard for a light touch scheme in this area.

“I would rather suffer the permit charge increase than the alternative of friends and visitors to this area suffering the ordeal and expense of pay by phone.

“This scheme has worked extremely well for many years but the council wants to squeeze more money at every opportunity in a futile bid to claw back the many thousands that have been mismanaged by a series of very bad decisions.”

If the plans come into force it would mean the light touch areas around Wish Park, parts of the seafront near Hove Lagoon and Richardson Road shops would no longer have free parking.

Ms Ellis said the businesses in those areas will suffer as a result.

The plans to convert all light touch parking areas were first proposed at the budget council in February to generate more revenue.

At the latest transport and sustainability committee meeting, councillors approved a consultation for all the current light touch areas – West Hove, Hove Park, Hanover and Elm Grove, Coombe Road and Wish Road.

The committee agreed to give residents options on keeping a light touch scheme with an increased price for the year 2024/25, or changing to a full “outer” parking scheme where current permit prices will be frozen for the year.

In a letter to residents in zone W, seen by The Argus, the council said the changes will include pay by phone parking that would provide “greater flexibility for visitors, businesses and provide more effective use of available road space in parking bays that are often empty during the day”.

Ms Ellis said she and others think neither option is preferable.

Currently, the annual price for a high emission vehicle is £229.95 in zone W. If residents opt out of the new plans, that will rise to £335.80 for 2023 to 2024.

Councillor Trevor Muten, the chairman of the council’s transport and sustainability committee, said: “We’re consulting residents across five parking zones in the city.

“The downside of the current system is that it leaves a lot of parking bays empty during the day in areas where uptake on permits is low, increasing parking pressure in other parts of the city.

“Under the proposals permit holders in these zones would still be able to park in all resident and shared parking bays within their zones.

“But we would be able to offer greater flexibility for visitors and businesses and provide more effective use of available road space.

“We would invite residents in these zones to respond to our consultation at by  January 14.

“A paper version of the questionnaire is available by calling 01273 293424 and leaving a message with your name and address and quoting your parking zone.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-21 05:00:00

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