Fury at car parking charges
RESIDENTS and traders are angry at plans to bring in charges at a free car park.Tendring District Council wants to introduce a pay and display fee at the Ipswich Road car park in Holland-on-Sea.
RESIDENTS and traders are angry at plans to bring in charges at a free car park.
Tendring District Council wants to introduce a pay and display fee at the Ipswich Road car park in Holland-on-Sea.
The 25-space car park, close to shops, businesses and two doctors' surgeries, is "extremely well used", but council officers are concerned that it is being taken over by long stay parking and people trying to sell their cars.
The car park needs resurfacing and officers say it will cost considerably more to carry out the necessary work on it than to other free car parks in the district.
The officers consider charging for parking at Ipswich Road would generate sufficient income to meet its running costs, which fulfils the criteria for the introduction of car park charges under the council's ten-year off-street parking strategy.
Ten years ago the council brought in charges at the car park, but were forced to drop them after fierce opposition, including a boycott of the car park.
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Now locals are just as angry at the prospect of paying for parking, but fear a boycott would lead to the council closing the car park altogether. They want the council to charge day-trippers for parking on the sea front instead.
Susan Laxton, who works in the Pharmacy in Frinton Road, Holland-on-Sea, has parked in the car park for 25 years.
She said: "There is at present a campaign to build a healthcare centre locally possibly near to the Ipswich Road car park.
"This seems a very bad time to be turning people away from Holland-on-Sea. "In a community such as this we should be looking to attract more people to the area to keep the community alive. Why not charge holiday visitors parking along the seafront instead? I'm sure this would bring in the extra revenue that is needed."
Residents also fear that cars will park on side streets instead, causing safety problems.
A part-time employee, from the Frinton Road Medical Centre, who did not want to be named, said: "The roads and streets around Holland are very narrow so to have cars parking along them both sides is going to be a major danger zone especially for all the elderly people living along these roads." Even so she said she would park in the streets because she would not be able to afford to pay the proposed £10 charge for over three hours.
A report to the council's cabinet said charges for tourist parking would not fulfil the car park charges criteria. It said local streets would be monitored and if parking caused a problem parking restrictions would be introduced.
Last year the EADT campaigned to keep car parks free in Tendring and won a partial victory.
The cabinet will make a decision on the matter next Wednesday.