Worthing Borough Council reports the trial of £1 an hour parking in three multi storey car parks is having a positive impact on the town’s businesses.
Latest figures show that the number of people using High Street, Grafton and Buckingham Road car parks has grown steadily since the council took over the management of them at the beginning of April. Over the last six weeks, occupancy has grown by 10%, compared with the same period last year.
People are also parking for much longer periods of time. Currently the top selling tickets are for two hours and five hours, whereas this time last year, one hour tickets were the most frequently purchased. These longer stays are having a significant impact on the town centre’s shops, cafés and leisure businesses.
One business that is already noticing the benefit is The Toy Barnhaus in the Montague Centre. Manager Sarah Cheeseman said: “Our sales are up on this time last year, which I think is largely thanks to the reduction in car park charges. It’s great for us and our customers love it as they can pop into town for just a couple of pounds.”
Worthing Borough Council is trialling £1 an hour parking in High Street, Grafton and Buckingham Road multi-storey car parks during April, May and June. If use increases during this time, the lower costs will be continued. A campaign has been running to promote the car parks and to encourage people to try them out.
Paul Yallop, Leader of Worthing Borough Council, said: “We are all extremely encouraged by the response to the campaign so far. It takes time to change people’s parking habits, so we were not expecting such significant results so soon. I’m delighted that our town centre businesses are already seeing the benefits and it seems Worthing is becoming an important retail and leisure destination, not just for local residents, but for miles around.”