Traffic jams hurt local firms, Greater Brighton survey finds

Posted On 21 Oct 2019 at 12:15 pm

Traffic jams and parking problems are causing problems for local firms, according to a business survey carried out for the Greater Brighton Economic Board.

The board said: “More than 80 per cent of businesses in Greater Brighton are concerned about the state of local transport with congestion and lack of parking high on the agenda, according to a new survey.

“And more than 25 per cent believe the issues are affecting recruitment and business growth the survey finds.

“While concerns about the over-congested South Coast are longstanding the survey reveals the full extent of the impact on the economy of choked roads and densely packed communities.”

More than 1,500 businesses were questioned for the survey which was intended to “build a comprehensive picture of business needs now and in the future so that the region can aid growth and the creation of jobs”.

The board added: “The picture painted of the business community reveals that 86 per cent of companies employ 10 or fewer people while 44 per cent of the entire workforce is employed by just 3 per cent of businesses.”

The report was produced by BMG Research in partnership with the Institute for Employment Studies, at Sussex University.

It stresses the need to help larger employers drive for growth through innovation as a way of creating more jobs.

The board said: “The survey highlighted that firms remain optimistic about growth with 35 per cent expecting growth and only 11 per cent decline.

“About 19 per cent of companies export which is in line with national trends.

“Virtually all respondents felt that being in Greater Brighton had benefits including the attractiveness of the area and lifestyle, good market access and digital connectivity.

“Most firms said they were happy to stay in the area.”

Councillor Daniel Humphreys, who chairs the Greater Brighton Economic Board, said: “This survey is enormously helpful to the region helping us understand how we can help our businesses.

“It will help shape the future support we are able to give them.

“We know transport and congestion in particular remain a major concern for businesses and armed with these findings we will continue to press government and Highways England for action.

“However, it is also good to know that we are still playing to our strengths, giving businesses a great location to go about their work, good connectivity, a great place to live.”

  1. Max Reply

    There is too much traffic for current road capacity and yet, already there are too few parking spaces, according to those surveyed. There could be sufficient parking spaces when traffic is reduced and this is exactly what better public transport can achieve. So the Greater Brighton Economic Board should certainly press government for action on this.

  2. EM Smith Reply

    This is the result of years of failure of public policy. Building roads too narrow and too few parking spaces. A park and ride at Waterhall, where the football stadium should also have been built, would have been a good start. But here in Brighton the bonkers council wants to choke traffic coming down the A23 (and A27), and when it leaves again as if by magic this will dissuade people from driving. It won’t. It will make the air worse for pedestrians and cyclists. Increasingly, the polluted air will make the centre of Brighton somewhere I will avoid, unless I have no choice, in which case, I will probably drive as, inevitably, the buses won’t take me where I want to go, will cost more and take longer.

  3. Chris Reply

    Has this survey told anybody anything they didn’t already know, or at least suspect? Everything mentioned in the article should be blindingly obvious to anybody with a bit of common sense, or was it just a “tick in the box” exercise?

    Continually reducing the road capacity is going to cause congestion and eventually it comes to the point of everything, including public transport, being held up. Look at the queues of buses in North Street – they can’t get past each other so just shuffle along until they congregate in Churchill Square in one great mass. Why have them all using the one route?

    How about some innovative traffic planning for a change? I’ve lived in Brighton for over 40 years and the road system has been tinkered with by every council with little success. Don’t say the Valley Gardens changes will solve everything, again it’s just tinkering without getting to the root cause of too many vehicles all trying to get to, and across, the centre.

    Brighton needs a proper Park and Ride but nobody will take the initiative to put the necessary land aside and public transport in place. Make it attractive to use with free, or very cheap, parking and shuttle bus transport to the centre.

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