MORE than 1,200 people have signed a petition for parking charges to be rescinded at a popular park.

Joy Flowers set up a petition calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to allow regular walkers at Stanmer Park to buy an annual parking permit, rather than pay individual parking charges each time they visit.

Writing on the page, Ms Flowers states: "Stanmer Park has been a free resource for local residents of Brighton and Hove for many, many decades, but as of April 2021 parking fees are payable in all car parks, the proceeds of which are to fund the upkeep of the park and woodland.

"Fair enough. What isn’t fair is the council’s refusal to consider and incept an annual residents’ parking permit as can be found in places such as Southwater in Horsham.

The Argus: Photos: Eddie MitchellPhotos: Eddie Mitchell

"There is a cohort of regular and older users of the woodlands who, based on two sessions of precious exercise a day, now face a £5 per day fee (plus 40p per transaction for the processing of the fee using the app).

"A lot of us are older and retirees who are nonplussed at the council’s lack of consideration.

"It seems as though their decision is aimed at the casual user of the park, rather than the constant (all weather) walkers.

"This petition’s aim is to encourage the council to engage with their residents and bring in an affordable, annual parking permit."

The petition has attracted 1,205 signatures within two weeks, with many people stating their reasons for signing.

One person wrote that not offering an annual permit for those who regularly attend the park "seems unfair and short-sighted", while another said the new parking charges will "exclude an awful lot of people, especially those with children who are struggling in the light of present situations".

The charges were introduced at the park on Thursday, with prices ranging from £1 for an hour to £6.50 for 11 hours.

Visitors are not allowed to park on the grass, park roadways, verges or pavements.

The Argus:

The city council said the measures have been designed to protect the heritage of the Grade-II listed Historic Park and Garden, which is currently undergoing a £5.1 million restoration project.

A spokesman said on Thursday: "Income from car parking charges will be ring fenced for use in Stanmer Park and the wider estate to continue the investment in, and protection of, important historic structures, and management and maintenance of the park.

"Warning notices are currently being issued by traffic enforcement officers alerting drivers to the introduction of paid parking.

"The number of parking spaces in car parks away from designed heritage features has been increased and overflow parking can be made available for peak periods.

"Signs have been erected throughout the park and more information is available on the Stanmer Park pages of the council website."

View the petition online here