A PARISH council has agreed to spend more than £3,000 to lease a traffic counter system that will monitor vehicle usage at two car parks in Lancing.
On Wednesday, Lancing Parish Council decided to invest in a device that will track the number of vehicles using the car parks at Beach Green and Widewater.
We don’t feel as a council that we are getting the best value for moneyJames Butcher
Parish clerk Colin Hunt said: “The most economical system will be these studs that go in the road and monitor the usage.”
Mr Hunt said the leased equipment, which will cost the parish £3,500, works via wi-fi and will send information to a database.
The parish owns both car parks and currently charges £1.50 per vehicle per day, between April and September. Outside these months, parking is free.
Parish council chairman James Butcher said: “We were hoping to introduce pay and display, so that the council would get a better yield from the car parks. We don’t feel as a council that we are getting the best value for money.”
Mr Butcher also said that before making an investment into a new pay and display system, the parish will need to monitor its usage each week.
He added: “We can work out how long the season needs to be, or maybe reduce the season so there’s more free parking, but we can’t really invest public money without knowing what we’re going to get back.”
As an alternative, Jason Lock suggested installing a barrier at the entrance of both car parks that could count the cars as they enter.
However, parish chairman James Butcher said: “Somone could just snap the barrier off and then you’ve got free parking until you replace it.”
County councillor for Sompting and North Lancing, Lionel Parsons, who sat in the public gallery, said £3,500 seemed too expensive.
“I understand your logic, it just seems a lot of money to see how many cars actually park in the car parks,” he said.
The parish council voted and the majority agreed to invest £3,500 in the monitoring device.
Based on the results, councillors will consider a pay and display system next year. The item was passed.