Two unions are telling a council to reverse its controversial transport policy.

GMB and Unite have pledged their support for the lobby group Unchain the Brighton Motorist.

The group is organising opposition to Brighton and Hove City Council’s 20 miles per hour speed zones and high parking charges.

The national executive leadership of both unions has endorsed the move.

The GMB has paid for an advert which will appear in The Argus tomorrow condemning the 20 miles per hour policy in the city.

An advert backed by Unite could appear later this month.

Mick Hildreth, GMB union secretary for taxi drivers, said the union is responding on behalf of its 15,000 members in Sussex and the 7,000 members in Brighton and Hove.

He said the move also has the backing of the Sudanese Taxi Forum, Independent Taxi Drivers and members of the Arab Taxi Association.

Campaigners argue that the roll-out of the 20mph speed limit amounts to a ‘blanket coverage’ of the area.

However, the council has stressed that there is currently no proposal for a blanket 20mph limit and no decision will be made until the outcome of this consultation is known.

Mr Hildreth said: “We agree with the 20mph speed limit in the correct places at the correct times. We have been told by the Green administration that due to costs the policy was the only one viable.

"A complete 24 hour 20mph speed limit across the whole of the city will leave drivers distracted from where a 20mph speed limit is vitally important such as hospitals, schools and residential streets.

“We suggest the park and ride scheme is revisited and this Green administration should ask Norwich City Council for advice how this can be successful.”

Last night Les Paine, area representative for Unite said, he was meeting with his area representatives to discuss placing an ad in support of the campaign in The Argus.

He said: “We are supporting this campaign because the 20 miles an hour policy has a big impact on our members – bus drivers and taxi operators in particular. We have 20,000
members across the county and 1,500 in Brighton and Hove.”

Soozie Campbell, chair of the Tourism Alliance, which represents big name attractions such as the Sea Life Centre, Place Pier and the Hilton Brighton Metropole, said: “It is good that everyone is having their say on this and there appears to be a powerful lobby against the imposition of 20mph speed limits.”

A council spokesperson said: “There is currently a live public consultation on the proposed extension of the 20mph limit. There is no proposal for a blanket 20mph limit and no decision will be made until the outcome of this consultation is known.”