A council is asking businesses to free up their car parks for a park-and-ride scheme.

Brighton and Hove City Council believes that there are a number of large privately owned car parks on the periphery of the city which could be used to reduce congestion.

A spokesperson for the council said work is under way with landowners, businesses and city centre retailers and bus operators to facilitate and promote park and ride schemes across the city.

A council spokesperson said: “The proposal for business-led informal Park and Ride is included in the City Plan, which has yet to be finalised. Councillors will consider the City Plan at the council meeting on January 31.

“In the process of drawing up the policy, the council has started to look at possible locations where sufficient parking may be available and public transport provision is good, and has consulted with business and transport operators on the policies within the City Plan.”

Gavin Stewart, chair of the Brighton Business Improvement District, said Park and Ride is a hot topic with city centre traders. He said: “There is no easy answer. However, we are keen to be part of the solution so are open to any discussions the council wishes to have to help solve the conundrum.”

Roger French, managing director at the Brighton and Hove bus Company, said the plan will face a number of hurdles.

He said: “Park and Ride motorists need good signage and consistency of use for such systems to work and be most effective.

“The Community Stadium and Universities’ car parks are already fully used for home matches and events at the stadium so will cause confusion on such occasions.

“Retailers such as Asda and Tesco already impose a two-hour limit on parking at Hollingbury and Marina and Church Road, Hove, to prevent use by commuters and employees of other companies working nearby so I doubt they’ll be attracted to the idea. The Marina main car park is already full on summer weekends.”

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