is there an alternative to Brighton's free car parking Sunday plan?

I've just read that Brighton is looking at the possibility of introducing city-wide free parking on Sundays, at a cost of £3.5 million in its first year.

One option the council is exploring would be for parking both on roadsides and in council-run car parks to be free. This would cost the authority £1 million just to change signs alone and an additional annual loss of £2.6 million in parking ticket, parking permit and parking fine income.

A second option they are to consider is offering free use of council-run car parks in the city would cost an estimated £1 million a year, so councillors are being advised to go back to the drawing board and look at different options during the annual review of charges later in the year.

As the council has been warned that free parking would increase congestion and lower air quality, could that drawing board not involve offering subsidies to local transport operators in the city? 

Not only could this cost less but it would also encourage people out their cars at weekend, and to try the bus?