Ryde and Newport parking plans to be discussed with businesses

Councillors will meet with local business representatives to discuss the proposed new parking charges in Newport and Ryde.

Council leader Councillor Dave Stewart and other cabinet members want the views of the business associations in both towns about the budget plans.

Councillor Wayne Whittle, cabinet member for regeneration and business development, was among those to raise issues about the parking proposals at last Thursday’s Cabinet meeting.

Councillor Stewart said: “We understand that changes to parking charges are a big issue and that’s why we’re meeting with our business community to discuss the potential impact and alternative ideas.

“We’ve been very clear about having to save £5.5 million next year and we published our proposals very early to give people every chance to comment.

“We want to support our small businesses and town centres so it’s right we listen to them.”

The parking proposals have prompted a petition signed by more than 3,000 residents, which will be debated by Full Council later this month.

Introducing additional parking charges in Newport and Ryde, as well charging for parking on Island seafronts all year round would raise a yearly income of around £149,000 for the council.

The move would also ensure a fairer, more consistent approach to parking across the Island.

Any adjustments to the parking proposals would require making up the funding shortfall elsewhere in the budget.

The council is exploring all potential opportunities, including alternative sources of income, to help balance the books.

The meetings with the business associations will take place later this month.