The ArgusFree parking in Brighton and Hove 'will threaten buses' (From The Argus)

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Free parking in Brighton and Hove 'will threaten buses'

The Argus: Buses in North Street Buses in North Street

Free parking in Brighton and Hove on Sundays will “clog up” the roads and threaten bus services.

That’s the warning from Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company boss Mike Best.

Last week a petition, drawn up by local Liberal Democrat member Jeremy Gale, calling for the introduction of free parking gained support from councillors.

But Mr Best said congestion was a bad enough problem on a Sunday already and offering free parking would add to the problem.

He said: “We are already finding that traffic congestion is bad on fine Sundays in particular, and to encourage more cars into the city centre will make it so much worse.

“Free parking doesn't miraculously create more parking spaces, so cars will be encouraged to drive into the city and then clog up the roads while they hunt for parking spaces.

“Bus passengers rely on buses arriving on time and roads clogged with traffic will have a serious impact on bus services.

"Buses cannot run as frequently if journey times are much longer, which can undermine the viability of routes and put pressure on bus fares.

“Brighton and Hove is not a desperate seaside town in decline that needs such initiatives to pull a few extra people in – what we have is a thriving Sunday economy that relies on the city centre being a pleasant place to walk around and shop in, not being clogged up with queuing traffic.”

Mr Gale accused the bus company of putting its own profits ahead of what is best for Brighton and Hove residents and visitors.

He said: “Given the extortionately high ticket prices charged by Brighton and Hove Bus Company, their services are unaffordable for those on low incomes.

“Our proposals of free Sunday parking would therefore help residents from all walks of life to travel freely across the city, giving them an alternative to Brighton and Hove Bus Company.

“Their objection is rather commercially based on a loss of income the bus company would see if free parking was introduced throughout the city.”

Chris Todd, from Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, criticised the plan, saying: “These proposals from the Liberal Democrats are just plain daft.

“They are jumping on the free parking bandwagon without thinking through the consequences.

“Who is going to pay is clear. We all are. Our roads are crumbling and services for the needy and vulnerable are under severe pressure.”

Comments (16)

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9:23am Tue 1 Apr 14

Phani Tikkala says...

OK… so freely running buses - on a lot of city centre "bus only" routes - (which seemed to manage before) are more important than the survival of many other small local businesses in the city centre?

It's gonna be great when it's all derelict shops, Poundland and Charity shops, but at least there'll be a good bus service so people can travel in to use the isore360 to survey the ruins of a once proud city centre.
OK… so freely running buses - on a lot of city centre "bus only" routes - (which seemed to manage before) are more important than the survival of many other small local businesses in the city centre? It's gonna be great when it's all derelict shops, Poundland and Charity shops, but at least there'll be a good bus service so people can travel in to use the isore360 to survey the ruins of a once proud city centre. Phani Tikkala
  • Score: 23

9:32am Tue 1 Apr 14

wexler53 says...

Chris Todd, from Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, criticised the plan, saying: “These proposals from the Liberal Democrats are just plain daft.

“They are jumping on the free parking bandwagon without thinking through the consequences.

“Who is going to pay is clear. We all are. Our roads are crumbling and services for the needy and vulnerable are under severe pressure.”

What twaddle....
Chris Todd, from Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, criticised the plan, saying: “These proposals from the Liberal Democrats are just plain daft. “They are jumping on the free parking bandwagon without thinking through the consequences. “Who is going to pay is clear. We all are. Our roads are crumbling and services for the needy and vulnerable are under severe pressure.” What twaddle.... wexler53
  • Score: 2

10:00am Tue 1 Apr 14

kopite_rob says...

Mr Gale said: “Given the extortionately high ticket prices charged by Brighton and Hove Bus Company, their services are unaffordable for those on low incomes."
Have I lost the logic in this statement, surely low income families by definition would find a bus journey cheaper than running a car?

Never mind the whole arguement over free parking, is flawed by virtue the seafront is one massive queue to get into the car parks at the weekend already.
By offering free parking, there's no incentive for turnover of spaces ,so the first to arrive will stay all weekend with no new spaces becoming available.
I reckon by 10 oclock Saturday everyone who owns a car in Brighton will have parked up for the weekend and then gridlock.
Mr Gale said: “Given the extortionately high ticket prices charged by Brighton and Hove Bus Company, their services are unaffordable for those on low incomes." Have I lost the logic in this statement, surely low income families by definition would find a bus journey cheaper than running a car? Never mind the whole arguement over free parking, is flawed by virtue the seafront is one massive queue to get into the car parks at the weekend already. By offering free parking, there's no incentive for turnover of spaces ,so the first to arrive will stay all weekend with no new spaces becoming available. I reckon by 10 oclock Saturday everyone who owns a car in Brighton will have parked up for the weekend and then gridlock. kopite_rob
  • Score: 0

10:02am Tue 1 Apr 14

ThinkBrighton says...

What a load of rubbish this man Best talks, he is only worried about the bottom line cash wise for his company, and putting it in another way makes him sound like his ex-boss the public minded Mr French (Full of Sh1t)
What a load of rubbish this man Best talks, he is only worried about the bottom line cash wise for his company, and putting it in another way makes him sound like his ex-boss the public minded Mr French (Full of Sh1t) ThinkBrighton
  • Score: 17

10:23am Tue 1 Apr 14

the old funker says...

....Brighton parking is already limited but as Brighton visitors don't arrive till mid-day locals now have a chance to park.shop and out before the traffic fill the roads up and fill up the A23 approach.
....Brighton parking is already limited but as Brighton visitors don't arrive till mid-day locals now have a chance to park.shop and out before the traffic fill the roads up and fill up the A23 approach. the old funker
  • Score: 15

11:11am Tue 1 Apr 14

BURIRAM says...

Free parking is a good idea
Free parking is a good idea BURIRAM
  • Score: 7

11:59am Tue 1 Apr 14

fred clause says...

With the new price hikes its too expensive to get the bus so less people will use them anyway.
With the new price hikes its too expensive to get the bus so less people will use them anyway. fred clause
  • Score: 12

12:21pm Tue 1 Apr 14

the old funker says...

fred clause wrote:
With the new price hikes its too expensive to get the bus so less people will use them anyway.
Brighton has a Bus service that works and is available to almost everybody so there will always be a charge for that. Most buses are new and clean with English speaking drivers unlike most large City's.
[quote][p][bold]fred clause[/bold] wrote: With the new price hikes its too expensive to get the bus so less people will use them anyway.[/p][/quote]Brighton has a Bus service that works and is available to almost everybody so there will always be a charge for that. Most buses are new and clean with English speaking drivers unlike most large City's. the old funker
  • Score: -2

12:29pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Gribbet says...

It's all unnecessary at the end of the day, as much as some people may begrudge paying to park in a city centre, the system actually works as it is. Will it increase footfall for the benefit of shops and restaurants? Who knows, we may never know, I haven't seen any Lab/Con councillors shouting about the success of their xmas free parking, why is that? You may find that these car parks aren't just used by consumers, but instead people coming into town to work a Sunday shift may just decide to take these spaces for the day instead of their usual free space in Hanover and other non-CPZ areas.

Another thing to consider is that around 40% of households in B&H don't own a car. The idea of the council giving an exclusive gift to the comparatively affluent car owners of the city by deliberately foregoing an established source of city revenue may seem a little wrong to some residents. If the proposal brings more cars into the city, then the non-drivers end up with the gift of increased traffic, noise and pollution on their Sunday strolls/rides around town.
It's all unnecessary at the end of the day, as much as some people may begrudge paying to park in a city centre, the system actually works as it is. Will it increase footfall for the benefit of shops and restaurants? Who knows, we may never know, I haven't seen any Lab/Con councillors shouting about the success of their xmas free parking, why is that? You may find that these car parks aren't just used by consumers, but instead people coming into town to work a Sunday shift may just decide to take these spaces for the day instead of their usual free space in Hanover and other non-CPZ areas. Another thing to consider is that around 40% of households in B&H don't own a car. The idea of the council giving an exclusive gift to the comparatively affluent car owners of the city by deliberately foregoing an established source of city revenue may seem a little wrong to some residents. If the proposal brings more cars into the city, then the non-drivers end up with the gift of increased traffic, noise and pollution on their Sunday strolls/rides around town. Gribbet
  • Score: -4

1:31pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Tallywhacker says...

Why on Sunday? Or Saturday? Surely a business needs customers in low times not on weekends when most people are out and about anyway. Why not free on a weekday until 10:00pm so people can go after work when the shops aren't jammed. And again the I see the needy along with their friends the vulnerable have been dropped into the comments again. I suggest Mr Todd urges the council to cancel any and all future bike lanes and give the money to the nearest needy people. After all bikes are used by a minority of the population so surely there are more vulnerable and needy than bikers who deserve funding.
Why on Sunday? Or Saturday? Surely a business needs customers in low times not on weekends when most people are out and about anyway. Why not free on a weekday until 10:00pm so people can go after work when the shops aren't jammed. And again the I see the needy along with their friends the vulnerable have been dropped into the comments again. I suggest Mr Todd urges the council to cancel any and all future bike lanes and give the money to the nearest needy people. After all bikes are used by a minority of the population so surely there are more vulnerable and needy than bikers who deserve funding. Tallywhacker
  • Score: 8

2:14pm Tue 1 Apr 14

MuammarQaddafi says...

Why not make Mr Best really happy and ban cars altogether? Then he'll be able to put up fares as much as he likes!
Why not make Mr Best really happy and ban cars altogether? Then he'll be able to put up fares as much as he likes! MuammarQaddafi
  • Score: 10

5:47pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Goldenwight says...

Weekends are traditionally quieter on the roads due to the lack of commercial traffic and work commuters. So I don't see the argument that this move will slow buses down.

In my experience, car owners rarely use buses to go shopping anyway so I don't see an argument there.

Certainly this would provide an incentive to visitors to come to Brighton at weekends. My vote is we give it a go and see what happens- if the effect proves ineffective or even deleterious, we can always reverse the move.
Weekends are traditionally quieter on the roads due to the lack of commercial traffic and work commuters. So I don't see the argument that this move will slow buses down. In my experience, car owners rarely use buses to go shopping anyway so I don't see an argument there. Certainly this would provide an incentive to visitors to come to Brighton at weekends. My vote is we give it a go and see what happens- if the effect proves ineffective or even deleterious, we can always reverse the move. Goldenwight
  • Score: 8

6:18pm Tue 1 Apr 14

jamesbandenburg says...

Funny, most of the traffic I see in the centre on a Sunday is an endless queue of near-stationary buses that starts at the Old Steine and stops somewhere around Montpelier Road, their engines belching out carcinogenic blue smoke and producing a noise that sounds like a washing machine on its final spin cycle.
Funny, most of the traffic I see in the centre on a Sunday is an endless queue of near-stationary buses that starts at the Old Steine and stops somewhere around Montpelier Road, their engines belching out carcinogenic blue smoke and producing a noise that sounds like a washing machine on its final spin cycle. jamesbandenburg
  • Score: 8

6:51pm Tue 1 Apr 14

brighton bluenose says...

Tallywhacker wrote:
Why on Sunday? Or Saturday? Surely a business needs customers in low times not on weekends when most people are out and about anyway. Why not free on a weekday until 10:00pm so people can go after work when the shops aren't jammed. And again the I see the needy along with their friends the vulnerable have been dropped into the comments again. I suggest Mr Todd urges the council to cancel any and all future bike lanes and give the money to the nearest needy people. After all bikes are used by a minority of the population so surely there are more vulnerable and needy than bikers who deserve funding.
Maybe the shops aren't jammed at 10PM in the week because the vast majority are shut?! Just a thought!
[quote][p][bold]Tallywhacker[/bold] wrote: Why on Sunday? Or Saturday? Surely a business needs customers in low times not on weekends when most people are out and about anyway. Why not free on a weekday until 10:00pm so people can go after work when the shops aren't jammed. And again the I see the needy along with their friends the vulnerable have been dropped into the comments again. I suggest Mr Todd urges the council to cancel any and all future bike lanes and give the money to the nearest needy people. After all bikes are used by a minority of the population so surely there are more vulnerable and needy than bikers who deserve funding.[/p][/quote]Maybe the shops aren't jammed at 10PM in the week because the vast majority are shut?! Just a thought! brighton bluenose
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Idontbelieveit1948 says...

"Free parking in Brighton and Hove 'will threaten buses'"

Good
"Free parking in Brighton and Hove 'will threaten buses'" Good Idontbelieveit1948
  • Score: 8

8:05pm Tue 1 Apr 14

HJarrs says...

brighton bluenose wrote:
Tallywhacker wrote:
Why on Sunday? Or Saturday? Surely a business needs customers in low times not on weekends when most people are out and about anyway. Why not free on a weekday until 10:00pm so people can go after work when the shops aren't jammed. And again the I see the needy along with their friends the vulnerable have been dropped into the comments again. I suggest Mr Todd urges the council to cancel any and all future bike lanes and give the money to the nearest needy people. After all bikes are used by a minority of the population so surely there are more vulnerable and needy than bikers who deserve funding.
Maybe the shops aren't jammed at 10PM in the week because the vast majority are shut?! Just a thought!
Its good that pensioner passes are paid out of the parking surplus, otherwise that would be another £10 million a year that would have to be found. 40 percent of households do not own a car yet only a small proportion of council tax goes on cycle, pedestrian and bus infrastructure, fortunately, the council have been extremely successful in getting external funding for schemes; between £2 and £10 for every £1 of council money (and most of that comes out of the parking surplus, money that can only be spent on transport projects). Buses, bikes and walking are not just used by those of us who choose to because of convenience or cost, but also by those who cannot afford a car.
[quote][p][bold]brighton bluenose[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tallywhacker[/bold] wrote: Why on Sunday? Or Saturday? Surely a business needs customers in low times not on weekends when most people are out and about anyway. Why not free on a weekday until 10:00pm so people can go after work when the shops aren't jammed. And again the I see the needy along with their friends the vulnerable have been dropped into the comments again. I suggest Mr Todd urges the council to cancel any and all future bike lanes and give the money to the nearest needy people. After all bikes are used by a minority of the population so surely there are more vulnerable and needy than bikers who deserve funding.[/p][/quote]Maybe the shops aren't jammed at 10PM in the week because the vast majority are shut?! Just a thought![/p][/quote]Its good that pensioner passes are paid out of the parking surplus, otherwise that would be another £10 million a year that would have to be found. 40 percent of households do not own a car yet only a small proportion of council tax goes on cycle, pedestrian and bus infrastructure, fortunately, the council have been extremely successful in getting external funding for schemes; between £2 and £10 for every £1 of council money (and most of that comes out of the parking surplus, money that can only be spent on transport projects). Buses, bikes and walking are not just used by those of us who choose to because of convenience or cost, but also by those who cannot afford a car. HJarrs
  • Score: -4

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