Thanet District Council is proposing a new resident-only parking scheme at five seasonal car parks across the district following an outcry over a hike in parking fees.
The new resident scheme will operate in the following car parks: Albion Street, Chandos Square, Broadstairs Harbour, and Joss Bay, Broadstairs and Marine Esplanade, Ramsgate. The system will work in the same way as the current on-street parking peel and seal voucher scheme.
The proposed daily charge for residents would be £2.50 per day, as opposed to the current daily charge of £12. Residents will also be able to buy a book of 20 vouchers for £40, which further reduces the daily charge to £2 per day.
Cllr Suzanne Brimm, Cabinet Member for Operational Services at Thanet District Council, said: “As part of our extensive review of parking across the district, we welcomed comments from the public over a six week period and are grateful to those who submitted their views.
“These responses reinforce the need to introduce an amended scheme which protects our residents and local businesses and ensures any impact on them is kept to a minimum. We hope that by responding to feedback from residents, the new scheme will encourage those who often visit our local shops, attractions and beaches to continue to regularly do so.”
The proposals go to an Extraordinary Cabinet meeting on 18 July, at 7pm. If approved, the scheme would come into force by the end of July and will run until 31 October. In future years, the scheme will run between 1 April and 31 October.
Vouchers will initially be available via the Gateway and tourist information centres, before an on-line ordering system is introduced. Applicants will need to show local authority residency to qualify for the new parking voucher scheme.
The council announced new parking prices in April in a bid to boost the authority coffers. The compromise suggestion followed the submission of a petition by Broadstairs resident Roy Irving.
But the timing of the announcement, and the scope of it, has been questioned by Mr Irving. The petition he submitted is due to be discussed by Full Council this Thursday (July 13) with recommendations from the Scrutiny committee to look at two options that had been put forward.
These were to reduce the first hour to £2, which Thanet council says will result in a loss of £20,000 or £2.50 for the first hour which will result in a £10,000 loss of income.
The cost for additional time – up to £12 for the day/5 hours – would remain unchanged.
Mr Irving said: “Interesting” timing, as the petition and the report from the Overview and Scrutiny panel are to be discussed at full council this Thursday. The petition’s main thrust is about visitors and tourism and although a scheme for residents would be welcome, this proposal does not meet the main issues in any way.”
There were 290 responses as part of the council’s period for public comments on the new parking schemes.
A separate cabinet meeting will review the new parking charges that are now in place for 2017/18
17,000 parking tickets were issued in 2016 compared to 12,500 in 2015.