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Town free car parking study

Free parking could be extended in Bognor Regis town centre.

 

The town’s popular two-hour stays might be available in more car parks.

 

The prospect of motorists being able to choose from more spaces to park without paying will be considered in a review of parking by Arun District Council.

 

Joe Russell Wells, its group head of neighbourhood services, told councillors: “A review of parking charges across all Arun-owned car parks is proposed to take place during this year.

 

“As part of the review, that (free parking) is what we will be looking at. In the past, there were recommendations to extend it as part of a parking review.

 

“It needs to sit alongside regeneration work. That’s part of the idea.”

 

His comments at Arun’s environment and leisure working group followed calls by some of its members at last Thursday’s meeting for work to be carried out to find out the benefits of the free parking.

 

Cllr Tony Dixon (I, Aldwick E) said: “I feel free parking helps town centres compete with the free parking at out of town shops. Have we considered extending free parking in Bognor Regis? We have three car parks offering it.

 

“Do we have any information as to whether they help to contribute towards town centre regeneration? Is that something we are able to analyse because the free parking has to be funded at some point and having evidence about it is important.”

 

Cllr Jim Brooks (I, Marine) said: “We need to see what improvements two-hour free parking bring to the town and have a careful look about how we manage it.”

 

Free parking was introduced into two car parks in Bognor Regis – Fiztleet multi-storey above Morrisons (343 spaces) and Lyon Street (61 spaces) – seven years ago in a deal between the town’s traders and Arun. It has since been extended to the 201 spaces at Hothamton car park in Queensway.

 

Drivers buy a £2 annual disc to be able to park for free and nearly 30,000 are expected to be sold this year.

 

Arun’s remaining pay and display parking spaces across the district generated £1.67m in 2018/19. A further £71,400 was paid for seasonal permits.

 

This generated a surplus of £118,000 to be spent on various works. These include a mix of new bollards/railings, barriers and signs in the next year at the Regis Centre, Gloucester Road, Lyon Street, and London Road car and lorry parks.

 

Work is also planned at Shrubbs Field in Middleton and Felpham’s Links Avenue and Grassmere sites.

 

*A separate study about improving Fitzleet multi-storey car park has started

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