Cinema goers, shoppers and even Police officers are struggling to park in Newport now as a result of changes to parking arrangements for Isle of Wight Council staff at County Hall.
Staff at the central hub of democracy on the Island can no longer park in the large County Hall car park for more than 4 hours at a time, which has resulted in office workers diverting to the nearby Coppins Bridge Long Stay car park – the nearest alternative. This is as a result of additional staff being based at County Hall in a cost-cutting drive.
Despite paying £45 a month for a permit, those who work in Newport and regularly park at Coppins Bridge – including officers at Newport Police Station – say they are struggling to find a space at times. Some motorists are having to fork out additional money to park elsewhere in Newport as they say Seaclose Park is too far out of the town.
A possible alternative Long Stay car park for those working in and around Newport is Sea Street near to Quay Arts, however, a private company own and operate this land meaning it is not covered by the Council permit and they do not offer permits themselves.
One disgruntled driver has taken to Facebook to say:
“There’s no other long stay car parks in the area and their [Isle of Wight Council’s] staff car park was completely empty apart from 3 cars . I actually wonder who thinks these things up!”
A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Council has told Island Echo:
“The changes to staff parking arrangements at County Hall have been implemented as part of the council’s new agile working arrangements and in advance of the transfer of adult social care staff from Enterprise House, Newport to County Hall – a move that will save the council more than £200,000 a year”.
In response to the dilemma, the Council have opened up around 60 spaces for Long Stay at County Hall. But only for the time being…
The spokesperson has continued:
“Until adult social care staff transfer to County Hall from Enterprise House, Newport in April, ‘all day’ parking will continue in its smaller outer car park (the one nearer to Newport Quay). Parking in the larger, other outer car park, closer to County Hall will be limited to the new hours of four hours parking (no return within two hours).