Despite massive public objection to the plans to introduce a parking charge at the currently free car parks in Ryde, the Isle of Wight Council have installed machines at both locations and have confirmed that charges will come into force from next Tuesday with a minimum charge of £1.00.
The news has been met with aggression and upset on the Council’s official Facebook page with many labelling the move as ‘disgraceful’.
Despite the efforts of organiser Tony Gibbs and the rallying support of Islanders, the petition failed to prevent parking charges coming into play.
Between 2013 and 2014 the Isle of Wight Council generated £2.4million from off-street parking.
In addition to charges in Ryde, pay and display rules have been put in place at The Heights in Sandown and Medina Leisure Centre in Newport. The seasonal parking charge period has been moved forward to 1st March from 1st April.
The bad news for local motorists has been met with some good news – on Wednesday the Government confirmed that under a new law, to be introduced later this month, drivers will get a 10 minute grace period when parked in a bay be it in a paid or free parking space.
In addition, the Department for Communities and Local Government is publishing new Statutory Guidance that ensures local residents and firms can petition to initiate a formal review of parking policies in their area from the Council, with councillors then voting on the action to be taken.
Councils across the country are also being asked to volunteer to trial a new pilot that allows motorists challenging a parking ticket to benefit from a 25% discount on the fine if they lose the appeal. Currently drivers are only offered a discount on early payment before challenging a ticket.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:
“We are ending the war on drivers who simply want to go about their daily business. For too long parking rules have made law-abiding motorists feel like criminals, and caused enormous damage to shops and businesses.
“Over-zealous parking enforcement undermines our town centres and costs councils more in the long term. Our measures not only bring big benefits for high streets, motorists and local authorities – they put common sense back into parking.”