Plans by the Isle of Wight Council to introduce on-street parking charges in locations such as Nodehill and Crocker Street in Newport, and Union Street in Ryde have been criticised by local businesses and traders. The Council says the charges “take a more consistent approach to parking charges across the Island”. The IW Chamber’s Chief Executive Steven Holbrook is urging the local authority to support local businesses by offering 30 minutes free parking before charges apply.
“On-street parking charges in retail trading areas are bad for those businesses, especially convenience based shopping. I know this just from my own change in shopping behaviour before and after the introduction of charges. Because of this the Chamber is opposed to any increases that would impact negatively onto Isle of Wight retail businesses.
“Just this morning I skipped a coffee and breakfast because I was in a rush and my driving route had to take in the one way system, meaning my only option was to stop in a paid parking area. I didn’t have the time to sort out on-line parking on my phone and I had no change. I went without a coffee and an Island coffee shop missed the sale.
“I shop on Union Street because I can jump in and out the car and get what I want quickly and easily. If I had to combat the hassle and the cost of charges, I simply wouldn’t go. I know I’m not alone in this behaviour. Our retail streets are in turmoil already and they need all the support they can get. As such, parking options should give the driver 30 minutes for free, supporting the genuine consumer who wants to shop on that street and go.”