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Mixed reaction over parking fees in Brighton park
For some, the new parking rules which come into force next week will be welcomed.
Brighton and Hove City Council said the charges in Preston Park, Brighton, will prevent the park being used as a car park by commuters.
The authority also says it will free up space for park users.
Meanwhile, opponents say the fee hike is “extortionate”.
Until now there have been no controls on parking in internal roads within Preston Park.
A council spokesman said the move was in response to calls for a clampdown on drivers parking there for free while they go to work or go shopping.
Parking will be limited to two areas of the park, known as The Gallop and The Ride. All other areas of the park, with the exception of some disabled parking bays, will be pedestrian only zones.
Charges will apply daily from 9am to 6pm, with up to one hour costing 50p and up to six hours costing £3.
But resident Leia Monsoon, who raised a petition against the charges with 252 signatures, said: “I am fed up with this council trying to squeeze more money out of us and doing so by giving us reasons which frankly insult our intelligence.
“The council say there is a problem with parking in Preston Park.
"This is because of their seriously flawed parking scheme in the nearby roads, with extortionate costs to pay and display which means bays are empty most of the time.
“The reason they want to charge to park in Preston Park is to raise money, and then push cars into parking in the Surrenden Road area, so they can justify trying to have a parking scheme there too.”
The maximum length of stay for on-street parking along part of nearby Preston Park Avenue is being extended from four to 11 hours from Monday, to give commuters somewhere else to park.
Councillor Pete West, chairman of the council’s economic development and sustainability committee, said: “I appreciate there is some concern over the introduction of charges, but we cannot leave things as they are.
“We have considered objections, and dropped plans for evening charges as a result, and we will monitor the scheme closely to see how it works and review it after six months.”