New parking charges will be introduced at Joss Bay car park and Elmwood Avenue (on-street) from next weekend in advance of the school holidays (July 20).
The original charges, which totalled an eye-watering £18 for the day, will be amended in line with other beach side car parks in the district.
The charges will be set at £1 per hour, up to a maximum of £5 for all day parking at both Joss Bay (off-street) and Elmwood Avenue (on-street).
The amendments follow lobbying by resident and Joss Bay business woman Sarah Melmoth who said the high price would drive away tourists.
She added: “They were outpricing themselves. It shows an absolute lack of understanding not only of tourism but business acumen. To take the free parking is one thing. To charge it at over £18 a day is quite another.
“It’s not just the low budget families. A lot of our customers are from Medway and London. People won’t be ripped off. ”
Cllr Ash Ashbee, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Operational Services, said: “Our aim is to always achieve an outcome that works for local residents, businesses and our visitors. We understand that due to its location, Joss Bay is primarily visited during the summer by those in cars. By reducing these charges we hope it will encourage residents to use regulated parking facilities while they spend time enjoying the beach.
“The new charges will be implemented in time for the summer holidays, but will still be subject to the normal member scrutiny process. The trial will be reviewed at the end of the season.”
The parking charges will be seasonal only (April – October) and charges will apply between 10am and 6pm (Elmwood Avenue on-street) and 7am to 10pm (Joss Bay off-street).
Thanet residents can purchase reduced rate car park tickets online for Joss Bay car park. The tickets are for use between April and October. The permits cost £2.60 each for all-day parking, or £42 for 20. You will be required to upload proof of your address.