Parking price hikes of more than 100% affecting shoppers, traders and residents are expected to help reduce parking numbers by 15%.

Brighton and Hove City Council last night (November 29) approved to advertise a range of “outrageous” increases which will raise an extra £1.3 million a year.

The Green administration claims it is a way to reduce congestion, improve air quality and increase the use of sustainable transport.

Opposition councillors said the move would drive people away from the city and hit people at a time when they could not afford to pay more.

Counting costs

Objectors must make their comments within 21 days for the plans to be discussed at another town hall meeting.

Under plans, the cost of trader permits could rise from £350 to £750, business permits from £175 to £400 and resident permits for those in controlled areas from £108 to £115.

Weekend rates would also be introduced at city centre car parks, meaning motorists at one car park would pay up to £15 for four hours on a Saturday or Sunday – up from the current £9.50.

A “simplification” of tariffs would also mean the shortest time people can park for in restricted areas across the city is an hour, while the cost of some seafront bays would increase by more than 100%.

Other tariffs would decrease, but not many.

'Sustainable transport'

Transport cabinet member Ian Davey said: “People need access to housing, jobs and activities in the city. For some this means access to cars…but we also must encourage sustainable transport.

“Getting the balance right between these choices is not always easy.”

Conservative councillor Geoffrey Theobald said: “I’m really worried that these proposals will not raise money but actually prove to be counter-productive.

“There’s a clear message – do not come to Brighton and Hove.”

Labour and Co-op’s Gill Mitchell said: “The Green party originally proposed a congestion charge but now they are bringing this back by stealth.

“I do not believe they will achieve their environmental agenda by hard measures. They are completely outrageous.”

Transport officers at the meeting yesterday said the changes were made looking at increases in bus and cycle use in recent years, adding they were on the “assumption for 15% reduction in parking volumes”.

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