Meads traders’ anger at parking permit cost

Traders in Meads are angry at the cost of parking permits they have to buy after new parking restrictions were brought in throughout the village.

New permit and customer parking bays were introduced in the shopping area on Tuesday with traders having to pay £220 for an annual permit to park near their businesses while residents pay only £25 for parking permits.

Owners of businesses in Meads Street including Sheer Bliss, Peter Hairdressers, Grand Flowers, Artisvan, Ridgways, Meads Village Dental Practice, Meads Pharmacy, Black Cat Restaurant and Makings and Doings say they can ill afford the extra cost of parking permits for them and their staff at a time when they are trying to boost the area’s economy.

And they have accused East Sussex County Council, which is responsible for parking restrictions and costs across Eastbourne, of penalising businesses.

Karen Hatfield at Sheer Bliss said, “We as traders have to pay £220 to park outside our businesses but residents only pay £25 to park outside their homes. That’s just not fair and is just another way for the county council to make money out of us.

“It is hard enough in this economic times when we are trying to encourage people to come and shop in the village. This just places more pressure on us businesses.”

The county council’s parking manager David Weeks said, “Changes were introduced following a wide-ranging consultation with residents and business owners. Of respondents from Meads, 65 per cent supported the proposals with just 32 per cent opposed. The cost of business and resident permits is in line with similar schemes in other areas. The changes were specifically introduced to ease the pressure for parking spaces in key areas.”