Is free parking on the horizon for Bognor Regis?

A meeting could herald a free-parking scheme for Bognor Regis.

The private discussion between town and district councillors focused on matters such as the location of the charge-free spaces and the need to introduce the scheme before Christmas.

The £3,500 annual running cost will have to be decided as well.

The town council has agreed to put £29,000 towards the scheme for two years as well as paying a traders’ contribution of £7,000 for the first year.

Arun will put £29,000 into the project every year the share of the two other organisations is paid.

It followed a unanimous vote by Arun district councillors in support of the principle of scrapping fees for stays of two hours in a central spot.

The vote also gave the option of siting the hundreds of free spaces in the Fitzleet, Regis Centre or Hothamton car parks.

The vote ended an hour-long debate after Bognor Regis Civic Society had presented its 5,807-name petition which demanded free parking.

It also formally finished the district council’s consideration of a campaign begun by the society last September.

It was the first petition considered by the full council under government rules to allow residents more say in civic matters.