FSB visited Hove Town Centre recently to hear about the ‘Save George Street’ campaign.
Martin Searle, FSB Development Manager met David Ichola of member business, The Studio, Barbers and Tattoos, along with Judy Manning, FSB Membership Adviser (pictured).
The campaign highlights the lack of parking in the area, which deters people from visiting, especially people who have a mobility difficulty. According to the ‘Save our Street’ campaign, because there is little free or low cost parking, customer footfall to Hove’s pedestrianised central shopping area is not as good as it used to be.
Some businesses have reported takings down from 2015 levels of between 10 to 25%.
The campaign has a ready solution to the problem, asking Brighton and Hove City Council for free parking bays in George Street to be brought forward to 4 o’clock in the afternoon from the current 6 o’clock.
This complements current morning availability up to 10 o’clock. David Ichola reasons this will help parents with the school run to the expanding St Andrew’s Primary School nearby and enable people to combine this with their errands in the town.
"We are asking for an hour parking with no return in the street to encourage a more steady flow of traffic," said David. He feels this change will encourage customers to shop and use services on George Street in the quieter later afternoon period.
A recent consultation showed 84% of respondents supporting the changes and a proper ballot is now underway.
Campaign leaders, including local Ward Councillor Andrew Wealls, hope the public ballot will support the idea and that the City Council will consider the plan favourably.
Martin Searle said: "FSB supports people to shop local and to take pride in their local High Street. We have recently signed a Small Business Accord with the City Council and we will discuss the ‘Save our Street’ campaign with the leader, Warren Morgan. Council measures that encourage small businesses to prosper have got to be a positive for the local community."