Chris Smith is right that we need to encourage people to use public transport, but increasing parking charges won’t do that.
Once a person has bought a car, it’s cheaper to use the car than to use public transport. Increasing parking charges in Lewes won’t price people out of cars, but it might price them out of Lewes.
Chris is also right that the Liberal Democrats are an environmental party, but we’re also a community party. And, we believe that small Lewes businesses deserve to compete on a level playing field with other towns, and with large supermarkets that provide free parking.
Instead of raising parking charges, the Tories need to expand the Lewes Car Club, which was started by the district council under the Lib Dems. The car club offers shared ownership of cars, with a huge saving for members.
Members make much more use of public transport, and car parking requirements are reduced.
If the Tories would promise to spend the money in Lewes, or on alternative transport options, then we might be more sympathetic. But, they haven’t offered to do either.We’re fortunate, then, to have an MP in the Department for Transport.
Norman Baker’s Sustainable Transport Fund, and his Green Bus Fund, have brought millions of pounds of funding for alternatives to car travel in Lewes – as well as elsewhere.
Cllr Ian Eiloart
Liberal Democrat Group, Lewes District Council