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Residents' Anger Over Parking Shake-Up

Added: 12 August 2006

Brighton & Hove City Council are pressing ahead with their controversial plan for a giant shake up for city centre parking. Traffic Orders have already been posted around affected streets, although in many cases they have been found to be missing sections of the 4 page details, in one case even having been affixed to a lamppost upside-down.

Council plans call for the removal of existing parking zones, and replacement with two huge zones. The North Zone stretches from the right across current central parking zones and extends to The Level. The South Zone reaches down to the sea and across to Grand Parade and the Lanes.

The Council claims this will reduce waiting lists for permits, however critics of the scheme have described it as “purely a money-making exercise”. Residents are concerned that it will become more difficult for them to park as people from the perimeters of each zone will start to drive to the town centre and park on residents’ bays, whereas previously they might have walked or used public transport. They also fear that increased car use will result in a dramatic rise in pollution for city centre residents.

Council officers attended a residents’ meeting of the Clifton Montpelier Powis Community Alliance on 18th October last year. Whilst the council cited this as public consultation it invoked widespread criticism amongst residents, as they felt that council officers were not listening to objections.

Professor Carol Dyhouse, a member of the CMPCA, said, “It is important that Brighton and Hove City Council’s desire for revenue from parking does not corrode its civic responsibility to preserve the quality of life for residents and the environment”.

Tony Davenport, one of the founders of the CMPCA and who started the campaign against communal bins in streets which did not want them, stated, “This is another typical example of the council’s flawed ‘consultation’ process - telling rather than asking. I am concerned about the reduction in air quality as a result of increased car use this scheme will bring - our city is regularly named as one of the UK’s most polluted cities with many areas containing pollutants above government safety levels ... this will just make things worse.”

“People often forget that council officers are employed and funded by us, the taxpayers. Councillors also now receive a salary of £10,500 on top of their expenses, many doubling or tripling this figure if they chair a committee or combine it with other top-ups. Furthermore councillors and officers enjoy free parking in the city’s car parks, or those without a car get an unlimited use buspass, paid for by us. Due to this changes such as these for parking never impact any of them at all. It’s time they started properly consulting with and representing the people.”

One of the people who organised petitions was Jackie Joyce of Clifton Road. “When I telephoned the parking department I was told by council officers that this was ‘going ahead’ ... it hadn’t even been discussed by the Environment Committee! I would urge people who are oppossed to this to write or email immediately.”

The plans are intended to come into effect early next year, however residents wishing to object must do so by 16th August 2006, and can do so by sending a letter outlining your objections to Traffic Regulation Team, Brighton & Hove City Council, Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, BN3 3BQ or they can be e-mailed to parking.consultation@brighton-hove.gov.uk. You can also send a copy for our communications archive to parking@brightonbeautiful.com.

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