Letter: Why isn’t this a good idea in Burgess Hill

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I refer to your article on Parking Issues in the Middy dated 14.

I agree with the Town Mayor and Conservative Councillor, Anne Jones, when she says that people park in roads near the town centre such as Church Close, St John’s Road, Park Road, Crescent Road etc to shop or go to work. I also agree with her that, whilst there is not enough parking space on the streets, the car parks are relatively empty and that people just won’t pay.

This is in contrast to her colleagues on the Town Council. They opposed my suggestion of

considering free parking in the car parks, funded from the £5.3million paid to Mid Sussex District Council by the Government as a bonus for accepting new homes in the area. They said that people in the town do not want free parking, that traders in the town do not want free parking and that if people can afford to have cars they can afford to pay for parking.

It is a fact that some Council’s have used the money to provide free parking and they report

increased commercial activity. Mary Portas, appointed by the Government to look at the

rejuvenation of town centres, concluded that free parking is

essential to combat the advantage of out of town supermarkets and shopping centres which do provide free parking. Eric Pickles, theMinister for Communities, constantly urges Council’s to provide free parking as a way of breathing new life into local high streets and town centres.

Residents of the town, particularly those badly affected by street parking, may wonder why it is a good idea in other areas (including towns in the Prime Minister’s constituency in South Oxfordshire) but not in Burgess Hill.

Cllr David Andrews,

Oak Hall Park,Burgess Hill