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What is causing the parking problems in the Surrenden Area?

We've done a fair bit of research to try and get better information about the causes of the problems. The causes include:

  • Short-stay parking: people coming from outside the area to drop children at nurseries and schools. There are over 6000 children enrolled in schools and colleges on the Surrenden Campus alone and many parents drive in to drop them off. If parking wasn’t free, more of these people might walk, cycle or use public transport. See our schools parking FAQ for more information.

  • Medium-stay parking: commuters and service users from other areas park in our local streets for the day. These include people who drive here to commute by train from Preston Park and London Road Stations, people who drive here to travel by bus or walk to their job in central Brighton where parking is expensive and people who come to visit Preston Park, the Lawn Tennis Club, the Bowling Clubs, Churches, Scouts and Guides and other facilities. If parking wasn’t free, more of these people might walk, cycle, use public transport, or pay to park next to locations like Brighton Station.

  • People working in the area: teachers and staff at schools and nurseries need to park, and there are not enough spaces in the school grounds. We estimate that there might be as many as 600 teachers and support staff. The new Balfour Parking scheme will mean that a lot of teachers are now parking in the Surrenden Area. We also think that sixth form students driving to college create a lot of parking demand. We say that it's time for the schools and larger employers to write Green Transport Plans and to encourage their staff and students to change the way they travel and park.

  • Long-stay parking: people from elsewhere in Brighton who own vehicles that are difficult or expensive to get a parking permit for, or have vehicles that they want to store without paying storage fees are parking in our streets for several days or weeks at a time. These include campers, converted living vans, some commercial and business vehicles and recreational vehicles such as 4 wheel drives. Some of these vehicles are high sided and cause a particular hazard for children and the elderly as pedestrians. We also understand that there is a local 'business' that couriers people to local stations, enabling our streets to be uses as free airport parking for Gatwick Airport.

  • Diverted parking: people who don’t want to pay for or are ineligible for a parking permit in an existing zone may park their car in a nearby street with no parking controls. This is why we say that if a new parking zone is to be designated, it should be a large one. Evidence suggests that if a zone is big enough to mean that people would have to walk for more than 15 minutes to avoid it, it is likely to change their travel and parking habits completely. In contrast, a smaller zone changes very little: people will just move to park a street or two away from where they already cause a problem.

Have a look at the results of our opinion poll on local parking issues.

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