Planned increases to East Sussex parking charges could be postponed

An increase in council parking charges could be postponed until later in the year, in light of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 3:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 4:48 pm
On-street parking charges were set to go up in late April

It is proposed East Sussex County Council will hold off on its planned increase to on-street parking charges – set to come into force later this month (April 27) – until at least July 1.

According to a council report, the proposal to defer the rises had been suggested by cabinet member for transport, Cllr Claire Dowling, in light of the “covid-19 situation.”

Cllr Dowling is expected to make an official decision at a meeting to be held remotely on Friday (April 3).

While recommended for approval, the report warns the postponement is likely to have a financial impact on the council, on top of the lower income as a result of the nationwide lockdown.

Initially the increase had been expected to bring in around £2m to the council’s accounts, however, this figure would likely have been lower as a result of the drop in footfall in towns.

The resulting loss of revenue is expected to cost between £460,000 and £2.3m, depending on the length of time and severity of the downturn, the report says.

If the increase in parking fees are deferred, council officers say, the council would be expected to lose further income, totalling somewhere between £150,000 to £920,000, depending on the length of the postponement.

The proposals come a week after the Eastbourne Hospitality Association and the town’s mayor Cllr Steve Wallis called on the county council to postpone the increases.

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