Councillor Geoff Brodie has been backed by members of Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council in calling for the Isle of Wight Council to introduce 30 minutes of free parking in all of Newport’s town centre streets.
Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council (NCCC) say they are increasingly concerned at the continuing demise of the retail offer in Newport, particularly resulting from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last 8 months. 40+ empty shops were recently identified by a former independent shop owner, Roger Saunders.
According to NCCC, Newport is the only town centre on the Island that has no offer of at least 30 minutes free car parking in its main streets, apart from the popular Upper St James Street (Nodehill). This is reflected for example in the relative, retail vibrancy of Union Street in Ryde, within its closest comparator town, which has 1 hour’s free parking.
Now, after a vote on Monday evening, the Community Council is formally calling on the Isle of Wight Council’s Cabinet to introduce at least 30 minutes free parking in all the Newport town centre streets currently charged for including High Street, Holyrood Street, Lugley Street, New Street, Pyle Street, Orchard Street and Quay Street. They are also calling for 30 minutes free parking in Newport’s short term car parks as part of the 2021/22 Budget.
All members of Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council voted in favour of Cllr Brodie’s motion, with the only abstention received from Councillor Steve Hastings due to his position on the Isle of Wight Council Cabinet. Members felt very strongly that now is the time to act and support the motion to help the town before its too late, and although the costs of providing this are understood, not supporting it would likely see the economy and offering of town centre damaged irreparably.
The matter will be discussed on Wednesday 18th November.
Newport & Carisbrooke Council look forward to the discussion of this motion at IW Council on Wednesday 18th November.