Brighton Lite Reporter
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons by Mark Wordy
A new scheme is being proposed to prevent Brighton’s Preston Park being used as a car park by commuters, shoppers, and other people leaving their cars while they go to work.
The move by Brighton & Hove City Council follows a petition signed by more than 2,000 people calling for action to clampdown on parking in the popular park and free up space for park users, and consultation carried out with park users, sports groups, local residents and others last year.
At present there are no controls on parking on internal roads within the park. As a result these are widely used by drivers who are not actually visiting the park, causing congestion; posing a hazard for park visitors, particularly children; limiting emergency access and spoiling the appearance and peace and quiet of the park.
A report which will be considered at the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Cabinet Member Meeting on January 24 gives details about the results of consultation and proposes limiting parking to two areas of the park, known as The Gallop and The Ride, and excluding parking from other internal roads, and along the London Road side of the park. A six hour time limit would be introduced to prevent workers parking in the park all day.
The report also includes a proposal to introduce parking charges in the park to cover the cost of enforcing the scheme*. Charges will be kept to a minimum and will be ring-fenced to improvements to the park.
In addition it is proposed to extend the maximum length of stay for on-street parking along parts of nearby Preston Park Avenue from four to 11 hours to provide alternative parking for workers, residents and others.
Councillor Pete West, the city council’s cabinet member for Environment and Sustainability, will be recommended to give the go ahead to formally advertise traffic orders about the proposed scheme, giving people an opportunity to comment.
Cllr West said: “We have had a lot of complaints about the level of parking in Preston Park, and a large proportion of cars in the park belong people who have gone off to work or do other things away from the park.
“The proposal is aimed at stopping the park being used as a car park in this way and freeing up spaces for people who are actually visiting the enjoying the park.”
He added: “We have tried to keep the proposed parking charges low for genuine park users and the basic charge will be 50p for an hour’s parking. This will pay for enforcing the scheme and any excess income generated will be ploughed back into improving the park.”
More than half of those who took part in consultation agreed that parking in Preston Park is a problem which needs to be addressed. While it is being proposed to reduce the area available for parking, discouraging non-park users will free up a significant number of parking spaces for people visiting the park.
*Proposed parking charges within Preston Park are as follows:
Up to 1 hour 50p
Up to 2 hours £1
Up to 4 hours £2
Up to 6 hours £3
Disabled parking free
The maximum six hour limit has been in proposed in response to feedback from sports groups who felt that a shorter time would pose difficulties for clubs running longer fixtures.