Our cycle campaign group is at the moment finalising its response to West Sussex County Councils Local Transport Plan (LTP3). This will be the guiding document for county transport policy over the next 15 years. The word ‘sustainable’ is mentioned 68 times throughout its 103 pages
However, Paul Holden reports today in the [Brighton & Hove] Argus that,
‘Shoppers could be helped by cheaper parking rates from January 1.
Worthing Town Centre Initiative is planning to inject New Year competition into parking, currently dominated by NCP.
The TCI intends to run the 180-space surface civic centre car park, off Stoke Abbott Road, on Saturdays.
Prices have not yet been finalised but it is believed the charge will be 50p an hour for up to five hours.
NCP charges £1.60 for an hour in the main multi-storey car parks and £8 for five hours.
However, it costs just £3 a day to park at the edge-of-town Teville Gate multi-storey and £2.50 for the neighbouring Broadwater Bridge surface car park, both run by NCP.
Town Centre manager Sharon Clarke said legal paperwork was now being completed after months of talks.’
Well done! Let’s encourage more traffic into the town with all the added pollution, stress and aggression of motorists trying to grab those cheaper spaces!
Surely it would have been a little bit easier to promote walking and cycling into Worthing (after all, unlike nearby Brighton & Hove, Worthing town centre doesn’t have any hills). It would work massively to this towns long term sustainable benefit (there’s that word again!).
Business chiefs and the Worthing Chamber of Commerce clearly haven’t worked out yet that if someone drives a car into town, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to fill it to the roof with goods. Encouraging walking and cycling ensures that local money stays local. People suddenly have money to spend on goods and refreshments as opposed to petrol and parking.
CTC in its document ‘Cycling: A Local Transport Solution’ lists the benefits to economic growth
- Promoting cycling tackles congestion. A lane of a typical road can carry 7 times as many bicycles as cars.[i]
- Making town centres and residential areas cycle-friendly enhances their attractiveness, boosting property values and retail vitality. It also supports local businesses, and maximises the “agglomeration” benefits of enabling businesses to locate close to one another.
- Reducing the oil-dependence of our transport system is good for our energy security and our balance of trade.
- There are also economic benefits due to improved health, e.g. reduced health-care costs and absenteeism, and improved productivity.
[i] Botma & Papendrecht, Traffic operation of bicycle traffic. TU-Delft, 1991.
The Wife, The Boy and I like walking about town and actually quite like the fact that the car parks are about the same price as an average shop at Tiffany’s as it’s quite an effective deterrent for us. It means we get some excercise, we get some bracing sea air and we’re not needlesly clogging up the town for what is essentially a 1 mile journey.
How many more cars do we have to try and cram into what could be a fantastic seaside town before the powers that be realise that it’s time to look forward?