Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Change to Preston Park parking fee is ‘not enough’
Football teams are to stay away from a “flagship” park despite a proposed reduction in car parking charges.
Brighton and Hove City Council is planning to suspend pay-and-display parking in Preston Park, Brighton, until 2pm every Saturday and Sunday to ease costs for weekend sportspeople.
But the Brighton, Hove and District Football League – which stopped using the park’s pitches because of the fees – said the change will not be enough.
Brighton and Hove City Council imposed parking fees in May between 9am and 6pm, costing up to £3 for a six-hour maximum stay.
Since this, sports clubs asked for the fees to be lifted to allow them to use the park for free for after-school events and weekend mornings.
The council’s environment and sustainability committee is due to decide on February 6 whether to reintroduce free parking until 2pm on Saturday and Sunday and after 4pm in the week.
Members are being told the move would benefit the park’s cycle club, two tennis clubs, the Preston Park Soccer School, the junior league football club and the cricket club.
But Ian Farrell, chairman of the Brighton, Hove and District Football League, said the league pulled out of the park because of the fees and will not be coming back even when the changes are made.
He said kick-off for his league is 1.30pm – meaning charges will come into force during playing time.
He said: “This is no good to us.
“We love playing at Preston Park. It is a flagship park.
“But we specifically pulled out of playing there because of the pitch fees.”
The council’s report on the matter says it could not totally lift parking restrictions because people would leave their cars there all weekend.
If passed, the reduction is due to be introduced in the spring.
Ahead of the meeting, the committee’s chairman, Coun Pete West, said: “We are trying to balance the needs of various groups, from those who petitioned us to take action on parking, to those who say they need to drive into the park.”
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Looking Back: Littlehampton fishermen's fight for livelihoods
- New report reveals Brighton seafront is the city's most pressing concern
- Speakers to debate gay marriage proposal
- Jeremy Forrest's 'caring nature' led to his troubles, his sister claims
- Homes powered by £500k solar farm