Traders in a Brighton shopping street have welcomed a proposal to cut the price of on-street parking.
Shopkeepers in London Road, Brighton, said that their takings had fallen by up to a third since parking charges were put up in April and new loading restrictions brought in.
In the past fortnight the London Road Area Traders Association has held a protest, blocking traffic in the street by sticking to the letter of the law while unloading.
And members lobbied members of the Brighton and Hove City Council Transport Committee at a meeting at Hove Town Hall.
Today (Monday 3 December) the council said: “Brighton and Hove City Council is to fast-track planned amendments to the cost of parking in the London Road area.
“It will be moved into a new smaller medium tariff zone, where prices will be £2, £4 and £6 for one, two and four hours respectively, compared to the current prices of £3.50 for one hour, £6 for two hours and £10 for four hours.
“This means drivers would be paying only 30p more for one hour than in 2011.”
On-street parking tariffs until last April were £1.70 for one hour, £3 for two hours and £6 for four hours.
Councillor Ian Davey, chairman of the transport committee, said: “Having listened to traders concerns over the past few weeks we are taking action to accelerate the planned rezoning of the London Road area in order to provide cheaper on-street parking.
“This was planned to go ahead in April.
“We recognise that business in the area has suffered over the past couple of decades and we are listening and taking steps to support local companies, particularly traders.
“London Road already has excellent public transport links and a car park which costs from £1 for one hour on weekdays.
“With the redevelopment of The Level and the Open Market, we believe that the future of the London Road is very bright indeed and we look forward to working with local traders to make this happen.”
Councillor Davey is one of three Green ward councillors for St Peter’s and North Laine which includes London Road.
The council said that the changes were planned to be part of the current budget-setting process.
This meant that they would have come into effect next April subject to the approval of the transport committee and the full council.
The traffic regulation orders will now be advertised in December.
If there are no objections, the changes could come into effect early in the new year.
The new medium tariff zone will run from St Peter’s Church to Preston Circus and from the railway line in the west to The Level in the east.
Roads affected around the Cheapside area including
- Providence Place
- New England Street
- London Road
- Belmont Street
- York Hill
- Elder Place
- Francis Street
- Baker Street
- Kingsbury Road
- Rose Hill Terrace
- Stroudley Road
Other roads affected around The Level include
- Ditchling Road
- Union Road
- Lewes Road
The council said that London Road Car Park remained the cheapest option, with an hour costing just £1 on weekdays.
The car park had a capacity of 528 spaces, the council said, compared with only a small number of on-street pay and display parking spaces.
General parking tariffs will be reviewed in the normal way and will come before the transport committee in January.
The London Road Area Traders Association said that it welcomed the recent discussions with the council’s transport department and Councillor Davey.
It said: “The association is very pleased with the positive outcome of these discussions and the decision to bring down the on-street parking charges in the London Road area, to be implemented in January 2013 (all things going to plan).
“There is little doubt that the increase in the parking tariffs in April 2012 seriously damaged local trade and drove shoppers away.
“The planned reduction in parking charges will almost certainly bring these customers back, as well as encourage new people to come and discover the benefits of shopping in the London Road area and the Open Market.
“The association looks forward to meeting with the council transport department again in the new year to discuss any further issues arising and to continue their positive collaboration.”
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