Parking charges on Gurnard seafront: Council officers recommend plans be approved this week

Council officers are recommending the new parking charges are approved by the Cabinet, adding that there were 467 objections received, but 60,000 registered vehicles on the Isle of Wight

Gurnard sea front - Google Maps

Despite more than 400 objections, the Isle of Wight Council is being asked to approve the introduction of controversial parking charges along Gurnard seafront.

As part of income generation schemes included in the 2020/21 council budget last year, three new changes to parking were given the green light — extending charges on all esplanades across the Island to be all year round; implement charges at Somerton Park and Ride, Cowes; and introduce year-round charges between Egypt Esplanade, Cowes, and Princes Esplanade, Gurnard.

Results of consultation
Following the statutory process to introduce the new charges,  a public consultation has been undertaken.

During the consultation in August and September last year, 467 objections were received, with some mentioning more than one scheme — 18 against the changes at Somerton Park and Ride, 23 against the esplanade proposals and 449 relating to the Gurnard and Cowes charges.

Not affordable all year round
In relation to year-round esplanade charges, objectors said it would discourage winter exercise along the seafronts, impact mental health and the charges would not be affordable all year round, especially to the elderly.

Petition opposing the plans
Proposals for Gurnard have been so ill-received by residents that a petition was started to stop the charges being introduced; arguing it would have a detrimental impact on the local sailing club, pub and businesses while further increasing parking congestion in the village.

To see the full breakdown of objections for each proposal, you can view the parking report and its appendices on the cabinet agenda via the council’s new Website.

Income needed for highways budget
It is recommended the charges be introduced to ‘reduce the burden’ of the overall council subsidy being provided to the highways and transportation budget, which is ‘becoming increasingly difficult’ to service, according to a council report.

It is estimated annually the charges will bring in an additional £157,900 — £33,900 from Somerton Park and Ride, £58,000 from all-year esplanade charges and £66,000 from Gurnard and Cowes esplanade.

The costs of introducing the changes at Somerton Park and Ride and on Egypt and Princes Esplanades — for ticket machines, signs and lining works — would be more than £47,000.

Officers recommend approval
The recommendation to the council’s cabinet from officers is to approve the changes but they say they may want to ‘consider whether the number of objections is sufficiently significant to warrant a complete rejection of the proposals in the parking order’ given that there are over 60,000 registered vehicles on the Island.

The cabinet will make its decision on Thursday 14th January.

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may have been made by OnTheWight. Ed

Image: © Google Maps/Streetview

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5 Comments on "Parking charges on Gurnard seafront: Council officers recommend plans be approved this week"

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Has the law changed? The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 prohibits local authorities from using parking charges as a way to generate general income. From a RAC report published in 2010: “Local authorities have no legal powers to set parking charges at a higher level than that needed to achieve the objective of relieving or preventing congestion of traffic.” “Any local authority that sets its parking charges… Read more »
‘Only 467 objections received’ — disingenuous at best, manipulation of statistics at worst. It would look rather different if the comparison had been made with the number of cars in Gurnard/Cowes/Northwood, as I doubt many people travel regularly from Ryde or Sandown to walk on the Cowes/Gurnard seafront. Not to mention the fact that most people have had quite a few other significant things to worry about… Read more »

Ripped off again, how much more have we got to pay for with no return value.

Benny C

When asked by the County Press what she thought, Councillor Churchman said she was campaigning hard for worried Local residents because she had concluded there would be unacceptable queues forming in Gurnard. She added that, despite there being more than enough car spaces, the Council had insisted the equipment installers follow the 2 meter rule and she thought that wouldn’t be enough.