Businesses face a price hike of more than 100% to park outside their own shops.

Firms in Richardson Road, Hove, paid Brighton and Hove City Council about £80 last year for an annual permit to leave their vehicles nearby.

But they were shocked when greeted with a demand from the local authority to pay £175 – a jump of 105%.

This was because parking bosses deleted the light touch scheme to provide a “uniform price throughout the city”.

The light touch scheme gave businesses in zone W a reduction as restrictions operate for only part of the day.

Ten businesses are thought to be affected by the change.

Elaine Davids, of Drury Tea and Coffee, said: “No matter how they wrap this increase in terminology it still remains the council continue to squeeze and suffocate independent businesses who need all the goodwill they can find in this economic slowdown.”

But a council spokeswoman said the light touch permit was deleted in April as “the benefits of parking all day without having to move the vehicle are similar to those of a full scheme”.

She added: “By way of comparison the fee for a business permit in Eastbourne is £220 a year and Lewes up to £1,000 a year.

“The current fee of £175 means a week’s parking in the zone works out at £3.36.”

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