The Isle of Wight council is to increase the cost of parking across the Island – with 32 separate price increases.
Parking charges are already an enormous earner for the council. In the year 2016/17 the total income from parking charges, which also includes permits and penalty notices, was £4,252,470.
The thing is, the council seem to be doing their best to not let anyone know about the comprehensive price increases. There’s been no press release, no announcement to elected councillors, no indication – they’ve just buried the information at the back of the County Press, on page 80, in the Public Notices section.
FSB Chair in the dark
OnTheWight spoke to an Isle of Wight councillor and the IW Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (below) who hasn’t even been told yet.
When OnTheWight requested the details of the parking fee increases, the council claimed (laughably in our view) they didn’t have the information held electronically at the council – despite it obviously having been sent to the CP so it could appear in the paper.
1/2 hour option dropped from on-street charges
The council are taking away the option of paying for half an hour on-street parking – making the minimum charge an hour’s worth of parking.
From 4th April paid-for on-street parking will cost a minimum of £1.50 to park, even if you only stop for a couple of minutes, to pop in to a newsagent, for example, for a newspaper.
32 separate price rises
Pretty much every other parking charge will also be going up. For example, the minimum charge to park at Dinosaur Isle will be £4.
In fact, so comprehensive is the list of prices that are going up, it’s easier to tell you which prices are not going up:
1 – Short stay on-street parking: up to 1hr charges will remain at £1.50.
2 – Ventnor is the only respite.
Ventnor: Parking prices going down!
The only place where parking prices are reducing in cost is Ventnor – Where the town council has removed Isle of Wight council’s power over pricing by taking control of their own pricing.
The car parks at Dudley Road, Market Street and Pound Lane, Ventnor TC is introducing a half hour option and either holding prices or reducing them. Shore Road car park is changing to a one hour charge or a flat fee of £3 for up to ten hours.
Shocked response from local business leader
OnTheWight spoke to Cllr Julie Jones-Evans, who is not only an elected IW councillor for Newport (where Julie tells us 60% of the council’s parking income comes from), but Chairman of the Isle of Wight’s branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). She reacted with shock:
“This is the first I’ve heard of the idea. As a council member, I haven’t been spoken to about this, nor has the FSB been approached.
“I find it perplexing that there has been such an important decision that wouldn’t be discussed more fully with businesses, their representative bodies and Parish councils.
“On Monday we’re discussing Newport’s Place Plan. In it, concerns over parking is a big thing. Also high on the list was that people didn’t feel like they had a voice.
“My concern is that this could not only damage parking income but the town as well.”