Last Monday the Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council (NCCC) approved a motion calling for the town centre to have the same free parking choices as all other Island towns.
Proposed by Cllr Geoff Brodie, the motion reads:
Council are increasingly concerned at the continuing demise of the retail offer of our County town’s centre, particularly resulting from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last eight months. 40 plus empty shops were recently identified by a former independent shop owner.
Council notes that Newport is the only town centre on the Island that has no offer of a least 30 minutes free car parking in its main streets, apart from the popular Upper St James St (Node Hill). This is reflected for example in the relative, retail vibrancy of Union Street Ryde, within its closest comparator town, which has one hour’s free parking.
Council, therefore, call on the Isle of Wight Council cabinet to introduce at least 30 minutes free parking in all Newport town centre streets currently charged for – High St, Holyrood St, Lugley St, New St, Pyle St, Orchard St and Quay St – and Newport’s short term car parks as part of its 2021/22 budget.
Brodie: Something serious has to be done to help our town centre survive
The Independent Labour councillor for Newport East told News OnTheWight that although Cllr Hastings abstained at the NCCC meeting (given his Cabinet status), “he entirely agreed with the sentiment”.
Cllr Brodie went on to add,
“Clearly something serious has to be done to help our town centre survive and this is a first step. There are many independent shops, but the multiples and some other independents are pulling out. It has always been the case that Newport is treated differently to other towns.
“This is clearly discriminatory to the independent shops within our town. Node Hill is full of independents and well used, but it is just a very short street with free parking that is always full to capacity.
“If Newport is to recover from Covid-19 then we need the IW Council to treat the town the same as all other towns.”