Parking charge increases are ‘last thing Burgess Hill and East Grinstead need right now’
Introducing differentiated parking tariffs in Mid Sussex has been suggested by Green councillors.
Increased charges at Mid Sussex District Council-run car parks were approved, subject to consultation, at a meeting earlier this month.
The increases will see 25 per cent added to current tariffs from early next year at all long and short-stay town centre pay and display car parks.
Members also approved the introduction of flexible three, five and six-day season tickets.
But Green councillors argue that an increase ‘was the last thing Burgess Hill and East Grinstead needed to deter shopping where footfall is still very low’.
They appealed for differentiated tariffs, not just by car park (for instance according to distance from the town centre), but also by town and by vehicle: as people have to enter their registration number when they pay, they believe it should be possible to charge more for those with the most polluting cars.
Paul Brown (Green, High Weald) was concerned that the fact that cheaper season tickets were being made available might lead to council car parks near railway stations being filled with season-ticket holders.
He also took issue with the cabinet member changing what had previously been agreed in scrutiny and bringing in new policy via cabinet.
Meanwhile Anne Eves (Green, BH - Leylands) urged MSDC to investigate workplace parking levies such as those introduced in Nottingham ten years ago, from which that council has taken millions of pounds in income.
The levies are charged on businesses with more than ten parking spaces and are paid by the employer. Apart from making up for lost parking income for the council, the Greens think this policy would encourage modal shift. They also believe this could easily be part of a strategy which MSDC ‘has failed to develop’ to address climate change, encouraging employees to use public transport, active travel and car sharing to get to work.
To take part in the consultation, which ends on January 14, visit the council’s website.