Brighton park and ride start date brought forward

An experimental park and ride scheme is due to start in the spring, aimed at reducing the volume of traffic in the centre of Brighton.

The match-day park and ride at Mill Road in Brighton – Picture by Hassocks5489 Creative Commons

Drivers will be able to park in Mill Road, Brighton, as they do on Brighton and Hove Albion match days, and catch a bus into town.

The pilot scheme had initially been planned for next summer as a joint project involving Brighton and Hove City Council and Brighton and Hove Buses.

But news of the spring start emerged as Green councillor Steve Davis answered a question from Labour councillor Gary Wilkinson at a council meeting last week.

Councillor Davis, who co-chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, also said: “The park and ride topic is very tricky. We are a 180-degree city, enclosed by National Trust land that’s impossible to build on.

“Plus, if we need to build a successful park and ride, we need close down our city centre car parks. Unfortunately, they’re privately owned. We couldn’t possibly buy them off.”

The Greens have opposed a park and ride scheme for Brighton and Hove over concerns that it would encourage more people to use their cars.

Those in favour of a scheme believe that thousands of drivers would be persuaded park on the outskirts rather than driving into the centre of Brighton, reducing jams and fumes.

The idea was one of the recommendations a year ago from the Brighton and Hove Climate Assembly.

At a meeting last Thursday (16 December) Councillor Wilkinson said: “In July of this year, in response to a question I asked, the administration stated that the Green Party is against park and ride schemes.

“And its spokesperson suggested he did not believe such schemes will assist in realising carbon neutrality by 2030.

“This despite Brighton and Hove’s first ever climate assembly having in its top ten recommendations the introduction of park and ride to minimise car use in the city.

“Fortunately, the council agreed that very day to support a park and ride project feasibility study.”

The council agreed to spend £25,000 to £30,000 on a study to find suitable locations for a park and ride scheme.

Councillor Gary Wilkinson

Councillor Wilkinson asked Green councillor Jamie Lloyd, the deputy chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, whether the Greens supported park and ride as a “straight yes or no” question at the meeting in July.

Councillor Lloyd said: “No. My party is against park and ride. We don’t think building a 5,000-space car park in the South Downs is a particularly successful idea which is probably why it hasn’t been done yet.”

  1. Harry Reply

    Cllr Wilkinson’s vote at the same committee earlier this year cost the city £75k in resources plus another £70k, withheld by the DfT, that would otherwise have helped children, disabled people, the elderly and women. Just saying.

    • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

      What was that, Harry? So much has been going on that I can’t keep up.

    • Nathan Adler Reply

      I would not worry Harry £70k is small fry compared to the millions lost in the parking revenue debacle, the £1.5 million mess of Home to School Transport and whatever the bin strike will end up costing – around £2.5 million. Millions still coming in from the active travek despite officers claiming we would lose it all. All active travel schemes progressing.

  2. Mindy Reply

    How? It’s the Greens who don’t want park and ride? And the comments from Steve Davis don’t really make any sense!
    Many of us drive into Brighton for work because we don’t live anywhere near a bus or train route and can’t afford the ludicrous house prices.
    If a park and ride opens in Mill Rd, I’d use it, and I reckon loads of others would use it too.
    There’s a bus lane down London Road, so I should be able to get to where I work faster than by car, and I wouldn’t need to pay the eye-watering parking charges.

  3. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    There has been a two-decades history of attempting park and ride, but a site is elusive. One only has to see the complexity of managing traffic when the Hove and Brighton Albion play at Falmer.

  4. Bradly Reply

    It is a lie that “National Trust land” cannot be built on.

    • Mike Beasley Reply

      Cllr Davis probably means ‘National Park’. Greens don’t really tend to have a grasp of the facts – just a morbid hatred of drivers and the innate ability to waste taxpayer money

  5. nick Reply

    The so-called greens really are scraping the bottom of the barrel with excuses not to build a park and ride. In their pursuit of “no cars”, they have forgotten that “fewer cars” is a good thing for the planet!

    What we don’t want is fewer visitors or more difficulties for businesses and their employees. So park and ride makes sense. It’s been proven around the world – but for some reason the local “greens” know better!

    They raise two concerns. Firstly that the city is surrounded by National Trust land. Well, that isn’t correct. There are lots of other owners, including the council themselves. Many potential sites

    Second concern. That private car parks in the city centre would lose trade. Well, bless! Suddenly the greens are concerned about car park owners. They think they’d have to compensate them. Why? They don’t compensate other businesses when they are harmed by council actions. I’m sure that the car park owners would be happy (even delighted) to look at other uses for the land. Especially housing. This is much needed. And surely changing car parks to housing would be a win, even in “green” thinking?!

    So, with these two concerns out of the way, hopefully, the “greens” can now move forward and stop thinking of excuses not to help the environment. I know they want a congestion charge – but really this can’t happen without other much easier and better solutions being tried first. However much the greens want to try to get more money from hardworking families….

  6. Dani Ahrens Reply

    They’re not worried about the town centre car parks losing trade, they’re (correctly) worried that unless a substantial amount of town centre parking is removed, the park and ride scheme will just add more parking capacity overall, and therefore incentivise more car journeys – precisely the opposite of the effect of is supposed to have.

    • nick Reply

      I’m not sure that adding a park and ride car park will mean that more people will drive overall. Is there evidence of that from other cities? Their experience is that traffic avoids the centre and makes the final part of the journey by bus. Isn’t that a good thing? Cities such as Cambridge show millions of car miles saved every year. People like it. Can’t we have it too? Isn’t this a good thing?

      The idea that motorists just want to drive for fun is a myth. It costs a lot to travel, is stressful and time-consuming. They are travelling for a reason – and certainly adding a car park won’t make them travel more

      I presume that the “green” council also agrees with this. After all, they significantly increased the amount of parking at Stanmer park. Removing lots of trees to tarmac areas. This is all to generate parking revenue for the council – but in this case they weren’t worried about generating extra traffic. Indeed they want it as they built additional attractions with easy, but paid for, car access. So the green council certainly supports extra miles if it means extra revenue for them

      The park and ride should do the opposite. Remove traffic from needing to travel into the city by providing an attractive alternative. A carrot and far more preferable to the stick of congestion charging. I suspect the “greens” support the congestion charging and oppose park and ride as they don’t really want to remove cars from the city and the pollution with it, they want to earn more money. After all, surely preventing pollution rather than charging for it is better?!

      • shiv Reply

        The Greens approach is riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions. Too many of their policies add to pollution rather than reduce it. They are increasingly authoritarian and appear to have little respect for the public or democracy unless it coincides with their ideology. They have focus too much on poorly planned cycle lanes, but even Brighton’s best known cycling advocate Adam Trimingham was highly critical of where two of the ‘temporary’ ones were sited.
        I’m no fan of the Tories, but they started putting solar panels on council blocks. The Greens scrapped this sensible approach to sustainable energy. Time and again, they say one thing, but do another.
        All parties have failed on park and ride. It’s a genuine no-brainer, and wanted by the public. Sadly we have a cadre of local politicians and council staff who lack the imagination, ability or drive to respond to the democratic wishes of those who elect them and pay for their vanity projects.

  7. Andrew Hinds Reply

    I support a park & ride scheme, but Mill Road is not the place to do it. Traffic already gets snarled up when there is a home match in the evening. As Mill Road is used as a car park, traffic is redirected via the A27, resulting in long queues at the Hove exit of the A27.

    If Mill Road is to be turned into a permanent park & ride car park then this problem will become a much bigger issue.

    • Martin Norman Burtenshaw Reply

      I disagree with you on the location, Mill Lane accommodates both A23/A27.
      It works very well on match days. Yes there is the traffic problem but remember traffic is arriving and departing at set times to co-inside with the footy.
      It is unlikely everybody will arrive and depart all at the same time, therefore traffic will not be as bad as it is on a match day.
      I think a set of part time traffic lights should be used at the roundabout at peak times to help traffic flow.

  8. Dave Reply

    Build a 10k car park on bray pool recreational grounds and give it a green roof so the green space can still be used. Put a bridge across the A23 and put a platform either side of the Brighton main line.
    That would boost rail travel, cut congestion and pollution almost instantly.
    Thats all we need to do to have a park and ride that will get people into the city car free in around 5min flat, no diesel busses required.
    The greens are not very green if they keep saying no to this. Believe it or not most people who drive here do so because there is no other means to get here.

    • Andrew Hinds Reply

      Brilliant idea. Would be great if the council had the vision to do park & ride properly.

  9. Adrian Hill Reply

    Brighton needs a Clean Air Zone to reduce the illegal levels of pollution found in many areas of our city. Please sign our council petition on this point. A well designed clean air zone (or ULEZ) is the most effective means of reducing pollution and delaying its rollout will increase the chances of dirty vehicles from other cities that have Clean Air Zones coming to and polluting Brighton (Southampton, Bath, Portsmouth, London, Bristol, Birmingham etc)
    I hope the buses used will be electric or at the very least, and temporarily, euro 6.

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