Sussex

Brighton traders' anger at parking permit rise plan

Traders fear a planned rise in parking charges in Brighton will force them to find work out of the city.

Brighton and Hove City Council is considering more than doubling the cost of trader parking permits.

If the plans go ahead, local traders will have to pay £750 a year for a permit instead of £350.

The council says the parking charge increases will help tackle congestion and pollution and generate an extra £1.3m.

Boycott threat

Clive Etheridge, a local painter and decorator, said: "It's absolutely ridiculous.

"We are in a situation where the small traders are really the lifeblood of the towns and cities and the first thing these elected officials do is penalise the very people that put them in power.

"I'd like a councillor to explain to me how putting the price of my permit up to £750 will actually help congestion, because I have to take my van whatever the cost - I can't work without it, nor can a plumber or carpenter or many other trades."

Mr Etheridge said that he no longer accepted work in London because of the parking and congestion charges and that if the parking permit rise did happen, traders would boycott Brighton.

A statement from Brighton and Hove City Council said: "Traders permits remain good value, even with a proposed rise to £750 a year.

"Current rates in the city have effectively remained at an introductory rate for around 10 years.

"Traders permits will remain competitive with other towns and cities as many do not offer an annual rate for traders.

"Even with the proposed change, a trader permit in the city would be just over £2 a day."

The traders permit and other parking charges proposals will be considered by the environment, transport and sustainability cabinet member meeting on 29 November.

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