Could Chichester be more bus friendly?

A public meeting about greener transport yesterday evening saw interest from residents hoping to have a park and ride system for the city.

The public meeting at St Pancras Church, Chichester, heard a presentation on transport solutions in Nottingham from Richard Wellings.

Principal transport officer for Nottingham, Richard Wellings, answered questions on how his city had set up an integrated bus and tram network and a workplace parking levy that had seen public transport use rise to 40 per cent.

The event, organised in response to the A27 debate by Chichester Moves On in association with the Green Party, had a full audience at St Pancras church in Eastgate, with questions from the floor on how a similar system might be set up in Chichester.

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Residents asked about the creation or conversion of car parks into park and ride facilities, the infrastructure needed for the electric and biogas public transport used in Nottingham.

District councillor Steve Morely, a member of the Chichester parking forum, asked whether the Nottingham had closed car parks in the city centre.

Mr Wellings said the car parks had been left, but real time information at bus stops and the workplace parking levy had helped encourage public transport use.

He said: “There’s a bit of creative tension between my team and the parking team.

“My view is we should be charging more for parking in the city to encourage transport, but I also accept that parking revenue is really critical to the council.”

He added that the all day parking rates at Northgate car park in Chichester were ‘pretty cheap’, but stressed he was not in a position to suggest a solution for a very different city.

Interest was also expressed in the Nottingham levy of £387 per parking space per year on all companies with more than 11 spaces.

Mr Wellings said: “The most important number there is zero, the number of large employers that have left as a result.

“We did have the effect of some employeers crossing over into the county and creating a car park there, but not too many.”

What do you think? Would you support greener transport in the city? Send us your thoughts to [email protected] or comment below.

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