FREE PARKING SCHEME FOR BOGNOR WILL CONTINUE BUT WILL COST US THE SAME AS LITTLEHAMPTON,
YET PROVIDE LESS THAN HALF THE VALUE
Arun District Council has refused to extend the scope of the scheme to all three
main ground-level car parks in Bognor Regis
There are only 66 ground level spaces(* see update below) available for free parking
in Bognor, but there are 382 free ground level spaces in Littlehampton
Arun demands the same price for this from Bognor as they do from Littlehampton
Value of Littlehampton free parking scheme per hour = £267.40
Value (* see update below) of Bognor Regis free parking scheme per hour = £123.90
When the Bognor Regis free parking scheme was set up in December 2011, the promoters
of the scheme, being Bognor Regis Civic Society, Chamber of Commerce, FSB, TBI and
the Town Council were extremely disappointed that Arun District Council gave Bognor
Regis an extremely bad deal.
This allowed only 66 ground level spaces, being just one car park, in Lyon Street,
as opposed to the 382 spaces in 3 ground level car parks in Littlehampton. Arun
claimed that spaces allocated in the Fitzleet multi-storey compensated for this and
would not accept that these were inferior because many people are reluctant to use
that building. Fitzleet is priced at 15p per hour, ground level car parks at 70p
per hour but this was not accepted as being indicative of the comparative desirability
of these spaces.
The promoters accepted this poor deal at the time in order to prevent delay and get
the scheme started, but on a promise from Arun to review the scheme in May 2012 with
a view to extending its scope. This review did not happen.
Recent talks between Arun and the promoters on continuing the scheme for a further
year began with Arun's outright refusal to extend its scope to the Regis Centre and
Hothamton car parks. In addition Arun demanded confirmation that they would receive
the same money, yet refused to provide figures to show whether their income has gained
or lost as a result of the scheme.
Bognor Regis Traders and the Town Council have indicated that they are prepared to
provide the necessary funds to allow the scheme to continue for a further year. However,
the promoters are extremely dissatisfied with the poor deal that Bognor Regis receives,
which is valued at £123.90 per hour, as compared with Littlehampton at £267.40 per
hour - yet Arun demands the same price from each of them. They will be discussing
the matter further with Arun.
Update 19th October 2013. At Arun District Council's Bognor Regis Regeneration Sub-Committee
on 7th August, Arun's Leader Cllr. Mrs. Gillian Brown surprised everybody with the
announcement that Arun would agree to expand the current free parking scheme to the
Hothamton car park.
While this was very welcome, there had been no consultation and it caused a bit of
consternation. What was to happen to the existing discs which covered only the Lyon
Street and Fitzleet multi-storey and how was the new extension to the scheme to be
included? A new shoppers' guide was about to go to print and could it be amended
in time? And in any case, was this intended to be long or short term, in view of
the still current regeneration proposals which covered this car park ‒ and did this
mean any amendments might be redundant again soon? Nobody was complaining about
the extra free car parking, but the high-handed consult-nobody attitude of Arun irritated
The Town Council worked hard to resolve all these issues, and the end result is that
the existing discs, which have no expiry date, will continue to be valid for Lyon
Street and Fitzleet multi-storey. New and different discs will be on sale from 1st
December which will cover all three car parks ‒ but these discs will last for 1 year
only. And they can be used at Hothamton from 1st January 2014. And, luckily, the
shoppers' guide was able to be amended to include the new information.
This changes the figures somewhat. Hothamton has 209 ground level spaces, which
means Bognor Regis now has a total of 275 ground level compared with Littlehampton's
382. And taking into account the multi-storey's 364 spaces, Bognor's free parking
is now valued at a more respectable £270.20.
All that is needed now to create a proper free parking scheme, say Bognor Regis Civic
Society, the Town Council, Chamber of Commerce, Town Centre Traders and FSB, is the
inclusion of the Regis Centre car park and some effective marketing.