Small Bognor Regis businesses sign up to free parking campaign

Small company owners around Bognor Regis have joined the fight for free parking.

The influential Federation of Small Businesses has signed up to the campaign to enable drivers to stay for two hours in town centre car parks.

The move by the Arun branch of 1,400 members has come as a new four-yearly cycle begins at Arun District Council.

Chris Heaps, the vice chairman of the federation’s Arun branch, said: “I would ask the council to listen to the views of local businesses and local people.

“They overwhelmingly supported the call for free car parking.

“Free parking is the only proposal for the regeneration of the town which is cheap, simple, easy to implement and will have easily-measurable results.”

He added: “The lack of parking is slowly strangling the town.

“The addition of Sainsbury’s on the outskirts will only make that worse.

“The company has made money available for the town centre.

“Let’s make sure it is used quickly, effectively and measurably for the town centre’s benefit.”

Mr Heaps has run a computer business in the town centre for seven years.

He said joining the parking campaign signalled the determination of a new committee at the federation’s Arun branch – covering from Littlehampton to Horsham to Chichester – to become more active.

Civic society deputy chairman Hugh Coster said: “We have received massive support with 2,122 pledges as well as our 5,807-name petition during the run-up to the elections for our free-parking campaign.

“We would like to look forward to a new period of co-operation working with Arun for the benefit of Bognor.”

A district council spokeswoman said: “Arun District Council has received a petition calling for free parking in Bognor Regis.

“It first goes to the clean and safe and environment working group on June 6 at Arun Civic Centre, which is open to the public but without public questions.

“Then it goes to the regeneration sub committee on June 21 at Bognor Regis Town Hall before the full council at the civic centre on July 20.”