Eastbourne residents ‘appalled’ by new car parking costs

Car parking charges have changed at a parade of shops in Eastbourne and residents aren’t happy about it.

Monday, 16th August 2021, 3:07 pm

The car park in question is in front of shops in Beatty Road and owned by Mullane Holdings.

There used to be a free one-hour time slot for drivers, to encourage use of shops and cafes and prevent people using the spot for casual parking.

New charges coming in cost users 20p for 30 minutes, 50p for an hour, and then £1 for every hour after that. If a driver fails to pay they are faced with a £100 fine.

Beatty Road car park. Photo from Craig Greenwood. SUS-210816-150409001

Resident Barbara Cronk said, “The imposition of these charges will have a tragic effect on the shops and restaurants in Beatty Road, as residents who are unable to walk to the shops, will refuse to pay for parking and will take their business to Tesco or Asda, where parking remains free.

“Our shops will be forced to closed through lack of business. The shops on Beatty Road are a lifeline to the many elderly residents in the area.”

She also worries drivers will park in “narrow roads” surrounding Beatty Road, something that could “clog up” routes used by buses.

Beatty Cafe, one of the businesses in the strip by the car park, revealed the changes are being delayed because Mullane Holdings can’t get access to the electricity for the cameras needed.

The cafe said on Facebook, “The private land owner of the carpark has decided to charge for parking none of the shops want this we are looking into trying to sort this problem out.

“There is parking on the side roads surrounding the shops. We know this isn’t ideal but we have no other choice at the moment. We all need your support to keep the business running.”

Resident Craig Greenwood said, “I am appalled at how this has been introduced. These charges will no doubt affect the local businesses that operate from the shops there.”

He wrote to Mullane Holdings, calling the company “greedy” and listing the concerns residents have around how the changes have come about, signs being changed overnight, and he said there has been “no thought given to the owners of local businesses.”

In response to these issues raised by residents, Tony Mullane from Mullane Holdings said, “We as a company tried to protect the interests of both the residents and the stores as well as their customers, we offered an hour’s free parking.

“In response, the shop owners ignored our contact and our equipment and signage was damaged. We were then forced to reduce the free parking and charge for parking.

“After this, signage was again removed and members of the public have been physically threatened. Unfortunately whomever did the damage has cost the local community.”

Mr Mullane said signs were changed “in accordance with legal guidelines” and more than £10,000 worth of damage was done as well as threats made to members of the public and Mullane Holdings’ staff.

He said, “The car park is in dire need of repair and without the revenue required faces the real prospect of being removed altogether.

“It’s an ongoing situation with multiple issues. We did hope to have everyone in agreement and the car park faces the real possibility of being closed off permanently.”