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Parking wasteland in Brighton
Buy this photo » Marine Drive at 9.45am on Thursday, May 17
A seafront road that has been at the centre of a parking charges row remained empty yesterday morning (May 17).
The Argus photographers snapped Madeira Drive on two separate days.
The first picture was taken at about 1.30pm on a sunny Wednesday and the second was taken at about 9.30am yesterday.
Madeira Drive at 1.30pm on Wednesday, May 16.
In both pictures the formerly busy bays were mainly empty.
However Brighton and Hove City Council said the new higher parking tariffs are not putting people off from visiting the seafront.
The daily rate on the road was recently increased from £10 to £20.
But following anger from businesses and residents a new eight-hour tariff for £15 has been proposed in the seafront high zone.
Steve Percy, of the People’s Parking Protest, said not enough is being done to attract tourists to the seafront – although the local authority said during the May bank holiday the Pavilion and Museums saw a 17% increase in visitors.
Mr Percy said: “It just amazes me that the council don’t seem to have any common sense when it comes to the tourist industry.
“Madeira Drive is tourist land. All along there are the parts of Brighton that everyone wants to see.”
Councillor Ian Davey, cabinet member for transport and the public realm, said there is “no evidence” that parking charges are putting people off from visiting the city.
He said: “The weather also plays a crucial part in visitor numbers.
“Over the spring period last year the average temperature was 20C, compared with about 11C this year – the average drop in temperature was 8.4C.
“This has been accompanied by some wet and windy weather.
“Visitors travel to the city in a variety of ways, and as part of the process of introducing previously announced additional tariffs, the council is currently advertising additional seafront tariffs, which will give visitors an affordable day out by the sea.
“There will be a new eight-hour tariff for £15 in the seafront high zone (from west of Yellowave to the Peace Statue), where there is high congestion and pollution.
“Last Saturday Madeira Drive was very busy with people driving up and down looking for spaces.”
He said the council is also proposing a new medium tariff zone on Hove seafront from the Peace Statue to East of Fourth Street, which will be a maximum of £10.
There are also existing low tariff zones on the East and West of the seafront where all-day parking costs £5.
Coun Davey said: “We’ve listened – these adjustments will help us realise our transport vision for a city that will be cleaner and healthier and make it easier to get about for everyone – visitors and residents.”
The council said that where parking remains free it will be understandably busy.
Yesterday, cars were parked bumper to bumper in Clermont Road in Brighton as commuters travel from Preston Park Station.
The problem has got so bad in Springfield Road and Florence Road that residents in the area have asked the council to consult on an extension to the London Road (Area J) parking zone.
Residents in the two roads which are currently exempt from the zone have found their streets choc-a-bloc with cars left by commuters using London Road Station.
The request is due to be consulted on in October, with a scheme implemented for mid-2013, if approved.
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