Worthing Council makes town centre investment pledge

Plans to invest in Worthing town centre car parking to ensure retail, leisure and businesses can continue to thrive have been revealed.

With new homes, jobs, retail and high quality public spaces all in the pipeline, Worthing Borough Council has drawn up proposals to ensure it continues to meet demand from motorists.

Central to the plan being presented to councillors next week (Tuesday November 6) is a commitment to continue a programme of major investment in existing car parks, such as Buckingham Road and High Street.

Longer-term, to ensure there continues to be sufficient town centre spaces after the planned demolishing of the outdated Grafton multi-storey, it suggests upgraded facilities could be provided at the Civic Centre and Lyndhurst Road.

The proposal also recommends the strategy is closely integrated with ongoing work to promote other more sustainable forms of transport, such as walking and cycling, and encourage modal shift away from single occupancy car journeys.

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Worthing is a town going through real transformation due to a combination of major regeneration projects and changing trends. It’s important we embrace this while ensuring our town centre remains open for business.

“This proposed strategy shows that we are serious about investing to create high-quality multi-storeys in our town. It will also ensure a good level of parking across the town as new car parks are created and other sites, such as Grafton, regenerated.

“Along with this car parking strategy, we also remain committed to supporting other modes of transport which will help our residents live longer and healthier lives.”

A report presented to Adur & Worthing Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee next week (Tuesday, November 6) notes that there are about 1,800 council-owned public parking spaces in Worthing.

The majority of these (1,300) are in three multi-storeys – Buckingham Road, High Street and Grafton – which require ongoing annual investment of more than £100,000 to keep them operational in the short-term.

To improve the quality and keep these multi-storeys operational long term, the Council has already earmarked a further £2.7 million to invest in these facilities.

But, with Grafton requiring an estimated £7 million to £10 million to keep it operational long-term, the report to councillors recommends closing and demolishing the seafront multi-storey by 2023 so that the site can be redeveloped.

To ensure that the number of town centre parking spaces remains sufficient, the car parking strategy suggests developing two new public decked car parks at Lyndhurst Road and at the Civic Centre as part of the proposed new health hub.

Longer-term the report recommends spending an additional £1.5 million on a “high quality refurbishment” of Buckingham Road, with similar plans for High Street also suggested.

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