The Conservatives have said a proposed emissions zone which would charge polluting vehicles will deter visitors and residents from going to the city centre.

In their manifesto for the upcoming local elections, the Green Party plans to expand Brighton and Hove’s ultra-low emission zone into a “London-style” zone with a charge for all polluting cars and other vehicles in an effort to reduce levels of traffic and “implement a liveable city centre”.

The party has yet to reveal more details about how the plans would work in practice.

However, Carol Theobald, Anne Meadows and Alistair McNair, the Conservative Party’s candidates for Patcham and Hollingbury, said the plans would do more harm than good.

The Argus:

Ms Meadows said: “If people are charged to enter the city and charged to park - and we’re not the cheapest, it will be really difficult to encourage people to come down here.

“Families do not find it cheaper to come by train and bus - they did find it cheaper to come by car.”

Mr McNair also said that people in Patcham and Hollingbury already opt not to head into the city centre, due to it being too expensive to park.

He said: “Depending on where this zone is, the Greens could increase that cost even more to the point that our own city’s residents will end up going to Eastbourne and Worthing instead.”

The Argus: Anne Meadows, left, Alistair McNair and Carol TheobaldAnne Meadows, left, Alistair McNair and Carol Theobald (Image: The Argus)

Carol Theobald said the proposed zone would have a detrimental impact on local businesses.

She said: “We’ve had quite a lot of shops close and that is going to make things a lot worse, especially those smaller independent businesses in North Laine.”

The trio also said that issues with the rubbish collection have frequently been mentioned while they have been canvassing and that the Greens’ proposals to reduce weekly refuse collection to fortnightly would make the situation worse.


“Every other doorstep we go to, they are complaining about their rubbish not being collected, and our casework has risen considerably,” Ms Theobald said.

“If they miss a rubbish collection, which happens very regularly, it will be a month - it will be even fewer collections,” Mr McNair said.

“Residents want to recycle and they are disappointed that they have to take their recycling themselves for disposal - they’re paying for a service they are not getting.”

Labour also slammed the Green Party’s proposal, describing them as “more of the same blinkered vision of the city”.

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Amanda Evans, deputy leader of the Labour group, said: “It represents a continuation of what we have now - same tired old promises, same failure to listen to or engage with residents outside of their own narrow membership.

“If you want fair, progressive and creative - not to mention competently delivered - solutions to the undoubtedly serious problems we face across our unique city, we believe Labour is the way to go.”

The Green Party was approached for comment.

Voters go to the polls on May 4 to elect 54 councillors from across Brighton and Hove for the next four years. More than 200 people are standing for election in 23 different wards.