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Parking charges force insurance firm to move from Hove
3:10pm Thursday 11th October 2012 in News
An independent insurance firm which has been based in central Brighton and Hove for 60 years has been forced to relocate because of the city’s soaring parking charges.
The owners of Scullard & Prosser in Old Shoreham Road, Hove, said they had “no choice” given customers’ complaints about the price of parking.
Owner Rob Lynn, who was also spending thousands of pounds a year on his own tickets, has warned the council that other businesses would follow suit if they didn’t rethink their policy.
The insurance broker was established in the city in 1939 before its founder was called up to fight for his country.
After the war, he returned to Brighton to set up shop at the top of North Street.
Following a brief stint in Ship Street, he moved the company to its premises in Old Shoreham Road, where it will remain until tomorrow.
Mr Lynn said: “We’re a small firm so we don’t have a big call centre or anything like that.
“We like to deal with our customers face to face, but they’re fed up of having to pay extortionate parking rates to pop in and see us.
“We’re paying at least £40 a week on our own parking tickets and we just can’t go on like this.”
'End of an era'
The 61-year-old is now in the process of packing the final boxes ahead of a move to new premises in Abinger Road, Portslade.
He said: “When we lock that door for the last time on Friday there will definitely be a tear. It’s the end of an era.
“We got to the stage where we had egg-timers on our desks to let us know when we had to put more money in the meter.
“I’d be on the phone to a client and the timer would start ringing. It was just getting ridiculous.”
A council spokesman played down the significance of parking charges on the businesses, pointing out the growth in the local economy in the last decade.
He said: “We sympathise but parking is not the only factor dictating business success in the city.
“There have been 1,000 business start-ups in the city in the last six months – a rate of increase far higher than the UK average.”
We launched our Park The Charges campaign following the council’s price hike earlier this year.
Since then we have had hundreds of responses from residents and businesses calling on the local authority to rethink the parking rates.
Has your business been affected? Let us know by emailing: email@example.com.