Price hikes at a town centre car park have caused upset - with fears the new charges could "kill off" trade.

The price of a parking ticket at The Beacon car park in Eastbourne will now set back drivers almost 20 per cent more as its owners say costs to run the site have increased.

But motorists are not happy, saying the increase could discourage them from visiting the town to shop.

Benn Nicholls said he was "very upset" to see the prices increase and that the option for all-day parking on Sunday for £1.20 was removed.

He added: "One of the reasons I come to Eastbourne over Brighton is because of the cheap parking.

The Argus: The new parking chargesThe new parking charges (Image: Benn Nicholls)

"The council has already put up the charges on the roads, and now the new charges in The Beacon could kill Eastbourne off."

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Beacon general manager Mark Powell said he sympathises with drivers but running costs have risen "dramatically".

He said: "Sadly we have had to review all our overheads. We have carried out a comparison of other parking charges around the town centre and I am pleased to say that The Beacon remains one of the cheapest parking options for motorists."

The hourly charge in the multi-storey will rise by 20 pence per hour, so an average two-hour stay will cost £2.80 - up from £2.40.

Season ticket prices have also risen in line with the higher costs.