Figures are needed before discussing car parking zones

I would like to offer the following comments on your recent article “Councillor backs calls to renegotiate Worthing parking”.

The paragraph quoting Pieter Monteyn of WSCC states: “Due to the geography and nature of Worthing, the scheme is by far and away the largest in West Sussex in terms of pay and display spaces and parking permit zones. It therefore generates more revenue and benefits from greater economies of scale.”

This falls a long way short of being a satisfactory explanation as to why Worthing motorists pay five times as much to WSCC than any other town in West Sussex. We need a detailed explanation of exactly how and why the “geography and nature of Worthing” requires it to be the largest scheme in Sussex.

We should be given the annual revenue zone by zone from 1) parking fees; 2) parking permits; 3) parking fines; plus 4) revenue from any other sources.

Again, comparing Worthing with other similarly sized towns in West Sussex, at £1.20 per hour in the town centre, Worthing’s on road parking fees cannot be considered excessive or unusual. Indeed, I would agree with Pieter Monteyn on this point. So where is such a large discrepancy in revenues coming from?

There are, however, some stark differences between Worthing and other towns as to the way the ever expanding “limited free parking” or CPZ zones are operated, and I would suggest, as a first step, these are looked at in detail.

A few years ago, the reported figure attributed to parking fines raised in Worthing was around £1million per annum. If this is true, then with the expansion of these zones I would anticipate this figure is now significantly higher.

As Paul Yallop has pointed out, Worthing receives little or no benefit from this revenue. While there is plenty of opinion about why Worthing contributes more money to the central fund than any other town in Sussex, there appears to be no hard data or information in the public domain as to how this is generated. This is just not acceptable in this day and age.

Without an analysis of where and how this money is raised, zone by zone, I can’t see how Paul Yallop and Roger Oakley are going to get anywhere in their negotiations against an opponent who does actually know how the money is generated and is anxious to protect a valuable revenue stream.

If councillors Yallop and Oakley do have these figures I think they should make them public. At least we can at last have an informed debate. We need to put the heat on Pieter Montyn. He is taking us all for fools.

Bill Hammond

St Andrew’s Road