Car parking charges in the Arun District set to go up from May 1st

Tuesday, 8 March 2022 20:08

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

New Arun car parking fees have been recommended for approval.

The fees will be discussed at Arun District Council’s (ADC) environment committee on Thursday (March 10) and could see charging introduced for the first time in some locations. If approved, the changes would come into effect from May 1.

They are expected to bring in an additional £146,000 for the council.

This could go some way to funding maintenance at car parks currently being run at a loss, such as Grassmere, Links Avenue and Shrubbs Field. ADC owns and operates 22 pay and display car parks and is looking to increase charges to be more in line with inflation – the first major increases since 2016.

Hourly charges could increase by up to £1.00 in some council car parks while some annual parking permits could increase by up to £50.

Charging could also be introduced at five council-run car parks which are currently free.

These are: Bersted Brooks, Brookfield in Littlehampton, Grassmere and Links Avenue in Felpham, and Shrubbs Field in Middleton On Sea. A long-running scheme offering two hours’ free parking for shoppers in Littlehampton and Bognor Regis will continue.

But not everybody is happy about the changes according to a six-week public consultation which began in December. Responses continued to come in weeks after the closing date with a total of 304 comments recorded. Of the respondents, 22 per cent were in favour of the increases.

Most of the objections were about introducing fees at the five free-to-park areas mentioned above.

Felpham Parish Council and Middleton-on-Sea Parish Council also disagreed with this proposal.

ADC will retain free parking for two hours at Middleton and Felpham and for one hour at Brookfield and Bersted Parks.

According to officers ‘this is expected to enable many to continue to use the car parks at no cost’. A new permit will also be available for these locations which will offer all day parking for £20 per year.

As more than 200 people responded to the introductory parking fees, highways authority West Sussex County Council has requested approval by ADC’s environment committee before the proposals go to a WSCC cabinet member for consideration.

All other fee increases can be approved by ADC’s environment committee alone.

Some residents are concerned that an increase could stop people visiting the area, which could have a knock-on effect on town centres. Both Arundel Town Council and Littlehampton Town Council objected to the proposed increases.

Why are prices going up?

Arun District Council is currently reviewing car parking charges to bring them more in line with inflation.

It forms part of the council’s ‘Off-Street Parking Strategy’ for 2021 – 2026 which aims to ensure car parks are maintained, ‘fit for the future’, and have appropriate charges.

A West Sussex comparison showed that Arun has the second cheapest charges for town centre car parks after Adur District Council. Arun has the lowest charges for multi-storeys when compared to Chichester, Crawley, Horsham and Worthing. But Arun has the highest hourly rate for coastal and rural car parks when compared to other local authorities in West Sussex.

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