Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Football parking at the Racecourse

Plans have been agreed for land at Brighton Racecourse to offer park and ride facilities on a permanent basis to up to 700 cars for Brighton & Hove Albion FC matches and other outdoor events at the AMEX Stadium at Falmer.

The land has been used in this way for Albion games on a temporary basis for the last two years. The Council’s planning committee has stipulated that the park and ride should not take place when there is a race event or other large scale event happening at the racecourse.

This seems excellent news as far as the Racecourse is concerned. It is 230 years ago this month that the Duke of Cumberland, Marquess of Queensberry and Earl of Egremont organised the first meeting on Whitehawk Down. Over the ensuing years it has become an iconic Brighton asset and anything that improves its profitablility and prospects is welcome.

The benefits of this parking facility to the environment, traffic, residents however seems far less clear. What is thought to be its catchment area? Will cars be driven across Hove, Brighton to the Racecourse? Or from Whitehawk, Woodingdean, Peachehaven etc. only to retrace part of their route by bus. What was the point of locating the Stadium on a railway line and a dual carriageway bypass if the railway cannot cope and the Stadium has minimal parking available on site?

The chair of the council’s planning committee seems not to agree., Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, said: “This is a tried and tested solution that will really help fans and residents alike."

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