The main problem is that there are too many vehicles chasing not enough on-street parking spaces. A lot of the houses built up to about 1925 were built without drives or garages, so most residents rely on the street to park their vehicles. There’s no land to create new parking spaces, so we’ve got to make do with the spaces we’ve already got. But lots of these are being taken by people who don’t live in the area, so residents are having to drive further and further away from their own homes to park. As parking spaces are short, other problems are caused, including bad parking behaviour (double parking, parking blocking gates, garages and driveways, parking close to bends and junctions that reduce driver and pedestrian visibility and make roads less safe).
Commuters park here to use Preston Park Station. Visitors to Preston Park, sports clubs and Preston Manor park here. Thousands of parents bring their children to schools and nurseries in the area. We live in a relatively small city where walking and cycling can be realistic modes of transport - if the roads are pleasant and safe to use. Our buses and taxis are not cheap, but Brighton has more and better public transport and taxi options than most cities outside London. Many of the trips that people make to the Surrenden Area do not have to be made in cars and if there was less parking available for non-residents and the roads were safer, many of them would not be.
But there are other sources of parking demand. There are large numbers of vehicles parked here long term, including commercial and recreational vehicles, some of which are rarely moved. Our Opinion Poll found that 98% of residents in the original 22 streets do not own a commercial vehicle. 95% of residents there do not own a recreational vehicle, so by definition our streets are being used as a car park or even a vehicle storage area by people who live elsewhere and need to store their surplus vehicles free of charge.
Survey work done in January 2018 found car hire companies were using our streets to depot vehicles for hire. The Argus ran a story on it. We've even been told that there's a company who will courier customers to Gatwick and park their cars in our streets, undercutting the airport car-parks.
Trip Advisor used to tell visitors to Brighton to use our streets as the best way to avoid parking costs. Luckily most of the forum posts that did so are now very old or closed.
There are many sources of parking demand. But they all add up to this:
There are too many vehicles chasing too few parking spaces;
There is no obvious method of adding to the supply of parking spaces;
Residents are getting 'squeezed out'; so
A parking scheme that allocates a fair proportion of parking opportunities to local residents is the best way forward.