‘Bognor deserves a level playing field with rivals’

Hugh Coster
Hugh Coster

Bognor Regis has been ‘singled out’ in comparison to other towns in Arun over a lack of free town centre parking, it has been claimed.

Hugh Coster, deputy chairman of Bognor Regis Civic Society, has called on West Sussex County Council to play its part in regeneration of the town by providing more free car parking spaces.

He made the plea direct to county cabinet member for highways and transport Bob Lanzer at last week’s joint western Arun area committee.

Mr Coster said: “Bognor Regis is the only town in Arun district to have these charged areas. Littlehampton is free on-street and Arundel is free on-street and a level playing field with the other towns is all we ask.

“When county recently proposed to charge on street in Arundel it ultimately accepted the residents’ argument that this would damage tourism and trade. Exactly the same arguments apply to Bognor Regis.”

Mr Lanzer said he was happy to discuss the issue – but pointed to the current provision of 317 free, limited waiting, spaces out of 998 bays across the town.

Mr Coster welcomed the current provision, yet argued the current successful two-hours free scheme, funded by Arun District Council and Bognor Regis Town Council, needed extending.

Following up the exchange in a letter to Mr Lanzer, he emphasised his feeling Bognor was being ‘singled out’ in comparison to other towns.

He added: “We would emphasise that the present on-street free areas are very welcome, but they are also heavily used and we need more free spaces (1 or 2 hour) to assist with our push towards regeneration.”

The civic society member also urged Mr Lanzer to address ‘faded and dowdy’ road markings, which he said would smarten-up the town.

He noted it had made a ‘magical’ difference to one of his office car parks – and would be an inexpensive improvement.

In his letter, he said: “We are aware that the intention is not to keep some of the markings, and where this is the case please remove all trace of them. Simply leaving them to fade makes the town look very ill-kept.”

Mr Lanzer said there should be ‘zero tolerance’ to faded signage and markings, also vowing to look into identified issues.