Proposals for Changes to East Sussex Parking Charges

Closes 11 Aug 2019

Opened 1 Jul 2019

Overview

We are asking for your views on proposals for changes to on-street pay & display parking charges and parking permit charges in the existing controlled parking areas in Hastings, Eastbourne and Lewes District.

Why We Are Consulting

With increasing car ownership and use, parking pressures add to the traffic management problems experienced by many towns both in terms of congestion and increases in vehicle- emitted pollutants to the detriment of air quality. The effective management of parking not only addresses local parking problems but helps achieve some of the transport objectives set out in our Local Transport Plan. These include improving road safety, reducing congestion by keeping traffic flowing better through town centres, improving health and quality of life and reducing climate change and damage to the local environment through reduced vehicle emissions, and improving the local economy.

Parking management supports transport strategies aimed at influencing travel choices, for example by creating safer, healthier and more pleasant streets that encourage people to walk and cycle instead of using cars, and encouraging the use of public transport where people have a choice to do so.

The level of charging is an important way that we can try to support these choices and manage parking better to achieve these objectives, whether this is by type of user (e.g. permit user or pay and display), by location (e.g. differential pricing between on-street parking and off-street car parks) or by the type or number of vehicles people have (e.g. second residents’ permits or lower emission vehicles).  For these reasons, it is important that charges are set at a level that has some meaningful effect on what people do. 

Charges for on-street parking have not been significantly changed for more than a decade in Eastbourne, Hastings and Lewes. In order to continue to cover the costs of the parking scheme and support its aims, an increase in charges is proposed.

What changes are proposed?

The key changes we are proposing are:

  • standardising the price of residents’ permits across Lewes, Eastbourne and Hastings for the first time.
  • linking the cost of residents’ permits to the CO2 emissions of pollution from the vehicle the permit covers, with owners of low emission vehicles paying less than those with higher emissions.
  • we propose that the cost of visitor and day permits should be higher in all three scheme areas to encourage people to make more sustainable travel choices.
  • increasing the cost of on-street Pay and Display charges to encourage people to use alternative sustainable forms of transport, which will help reduce congestion and improve air quality in our towns.
  • targeted increases in on-street parking charges in a small number of locations where nearby off-street car park prices have higher charges than on-street prices. This will help encourage people to use car parks first and minimise the pressure on on-street parking in these locations.

More information about each of the proposed changes is set out below.

Permit prices to encourage lower emission vehicles

Increasing concerns about poor air quality and climate change are leading to many local authorities setting higher parking prices for higher emission vehicles that create more pollution, and some authorities are also investigating traffic management schemes that ban more polluting vehicles in town and city centres. 

Resident Permits

In Lewes, and to some extent Falmer, the cost of residents’ permits already includes differential pricing to encourage lower emission vehicles and there is no plan to increase permit charges.

This is not the case in Eastbourne where it only applies to business permits and no differential exists in Hastings.  Under the proposals, the price of residents’ permits would be standardised across Eastbourne, Hastings and Lewes for the first time, with owners of low emission vehicles paying less than those with higher emissions. The cost of a first permit would be between £15 and £95 per year depending on the level of emissions

You can find out the CO2 emissions of your vehicle by looking on the government web site:  https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax-rate-tables

Business Permits

Also under the proposals, the price of business permits will see an increase across Lewes, Eastbourne and Hastings for the first time, with owners of low emission vehicles paying less than those with higher emissions.

The cost of a business permit differs from town to town, in Eastbourne a 12 month all zones business permit would increase from £420 per year to £546 per year for petrol or diesel vehicles. A 12 month all zones business permit for Electric or LPG vehicles would increase from £100 per year to £130 per year.

In Hastings a 12 month business permit will increase from £200 per year to £260 per year.

There are no proposed changes to the price of a business permit in Lewes.

Visitor and other permit price variations in different towns

The parking schemes in Eastbourne, Hastings and Lewes were originally designed to provide parking provision to satisfy the needs of the local community, this has resulted in a wide variety of different charges and differing arrangements for a variety of day permits. 

It is proposed to increase the visitor and other permit charges to influence driver behaviour and encourage them to use sustainable forms of transport or to use off-street car parks if they continue to drive.

This review also includes doctor, primary care worker, hotel and trade permits where applicable.

Increases to on-street parking charges

Parking charges have not gone up for over 10 years and the cost of parking is therefore having less impact in influencing travel choices.  To influence driver behaviour and encourage people to use alternative sustainable forms of transport or to use off-street car parks if they continue to drive, which will help reduce congestion and improve air quality in our towns, it is proposed to increase on-street Pay and Display charges.

The increase in charges for on-street parking across Eastbourne, Hastings and Lewes would range from 20p to £1.90 per hour depending on the location.  Blue Badge holders are not impacted by this proposal as they do not have to pay for on-street parking.

Increases to Pay and Display near off-street car parks

Across the country it is common for on-street parking to cost more than nearby off-street car parks.  This helps encourage people to use car parks first and minimise the pressure on on-street parking.  We are therefore proposing to have targeted increases in on-street parking charges at locations where nearby off-street car park prices have higher charges than on-street prices. This proposal only impacts on a few parking spaces in Hastings on the southern section of Carlisle Parade between Robertson Street and Harold Place. Blue Badge holders are not impacted by this proposal as they do not have to pay for on-street parking.

How to take part in this consultation

Fill in and return the online survey by midnight on 11 August 2019 – we expect it to take around 15 minutes to complete.

If you’d like to request a paper copy of the survey, please email us at parking.consultations@eastsussex.gov.uk or call us on 01323 464102
If you need more help to take part in the survey, please let us know.

What happens next?

At this stage, no decisions have been made on our proposals.

Once the consultation is complete, your views will be presented to East Sussex County Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Environment in late 2019 to help them make a final decision.

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