The introduction of Sunday parking charges in Horsham should be delayed until a review of restrictions in roads near the town centre has been carried out, county councillors have urged.
Horsham District Council agreed to a £1.50 a day flat fee on Sundays and bank holidays in the town centre car parks it operates from April 1 as a way of raising extra revenue to mitigate the impact of a decline in central Government funding.
However all the town’s Controlled Parking Zones, which are managed by West Sussex County Council (WSCC), only operate from Monday to Saturday.
Several residents turned up to WSCC’s North Horsham County Local Committee (CLC) last Monday to voice concerns at the potential effect Sunday charges could have on pushing parking into roads that have CPZs.
One Barttelot Road resident said it was already ‘impossible’ to park after 5pm after HDC brought in evening parking charges.
Nigel Dennis (LDem, Horsham Hurst) said: “I think it’s regrettable that Horsham District Council is proposing to introduce charges on Sundays.
“As a consequence we need to review the CPZ’s hours of operations.”
Dr Dennis explained that any changes could take a year to implement but HDC had only given several months’ notice, and added: “Whatever we do there’s going to be a lag and residents will be subjected to a year of this.”
Morwen Millson (LDem, Horsham Riverside) added: “I think as a CLC perhaps we should write asking them to postpone this for a year to look at changing the regulations and CPZ.”
Peter Catchpole (Con, Holbrook) argued that rather than setting a timeframe the committee’s letter should suggest a coordinated approach to a review of the CPZ and any changes to parking arrangements.
Officers explained that changes to CPZs was ‘not a simple piece of work’ and required a ‘massive amount of action’.
Amanda Jupp (Con, Billingshurst) added: “Why should we [the county council] pay for that. They [HDC] should pay for that.”
Brad Watson (Con, Nuthurst and Southwater), chair of the committee, said that like many authorities HDC was struggling to generate enough money to continue to deliver services, and that any use of car parks should be charged.
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