The Isle of Wight Council is to introduce year round parking charges at all seafront pay-and-display parks and roadside spaces, in a bid to raise £800,000 annually.
The changes will rescind the November to March free parking period, double the cost of resident parking, and remove dozens of free parking areas across the island. “Off-street long and short stay car parks will increase by roughly 20p per hour with the on-street pay and display parking tariff also going up and the reintroduction of a 30-minute waiting period for £1,” reported the Island Echo.
“As well as that, the price of parking permits for residents and tourists will rise by 20 percent and also for council staff who wish to park in the council’s car park at work.”
Not surprisingly, desperate attempts have been made to position an extremely unpopular decision into a positive for the community. Rather than a money raising exercise the authorities have advised that the initiative is intended to increase the free flow of traffic, supposedly benefitting local businesses.
Those businesses, however, are having none of it,responding with criticism that the charges could seriously affect visitation to popular seaside towns such as Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor.
Residents will also count the cost of changes, with the annual parking permit almost doubling in cost from £324.50 to £600.
Opposition to the charges, and one might expect a significant amount if it, can be registered with council traffic manager Scott Headey until 18 September.