Isle of Wight East Cowes Council ruling on free parking
PARKING charges could be reintroduced at one of the last free car parks on the island – Maresfield Road in East Cowes.
This despite a petition from 75 local business employees and eight other objections.
Isle of Wight Council says the fee could earn the authority £4,000 a year and help reduce the financial challenges the authority faces.
Meanwhile, the site’s long-term future is uncertain – it was intended for housing when the local authority bought Venture Quays and surrounding sites from Homes England almost two years ago.
The deal required the council to build homes by 2024 or risk having to resell them for £1.
parking lot. Photo by Isle of Wight Council.” alt=”Isle of Wight County Press: Council’s investment in Venture Quays. Site four is the housing parking lot. Photo by Isle of Wight Council.” class=”editor-image”/>
The parking charges were approved as part of the Isle of Wight Council’s 2021 budget and the proposals were published in a public notice in January.
Now key members of the Isle of Wight Council cabinet are being asked to approve them – meaning the costs could be introduced imminently.
There has been significant investment in the area in recent years, with growth for businesses like Wight Shipyard and Rapanui’s Teemill.
Opponents argue the loss of free parking would impact local residents and motorists would instead park in surrounding residential streets, but council officials insist there is no evidence of this.
Opponents also fear it will deter local investment.
Charges would be the same as other long term off-street car parks on the Isle of Wight and agents say this would ensure a consistent approach to charging across the island.
Without the additional revenue, officers say they would have to make further service cuts across the highways and transportation portfolio.
If introduced, Islanders would only be able to pay for parking over the phone. The council says this would reduce infrastructure and installation costs.
Cabinet is recommended to approve the increase, but may choose to reject the proposals.
Isle of Wight council have announced that cabinet will now meet on Monday June 20 – not Thursday June 16.