Residents are understandably angry about the Cabinet's recent decision to increase, in some cases by a huge amount, parking charges throughout the Borough and of course Hayling's popular car parks. HIRA's Committee shares their concerns about the knock-on effects on Hayling's vital Tourist Economy as well as on local residents' ability to enjoy Hayling's facilities.
Having spoken directly to the shared East Hants. District Council and Havant Borough Council's Office for Parking based in Petersfield, I can confirm that parking charges throughout the Borough had been frozen for 5 years in order to support and encourage local businesses. However in 2016 new meters were installed to provide users with the opportunity to use the new APPS for smartphones and cards, so competing with private parking charges that provided these services. These two elements - the freeze and new meter expenses - combined with the fact that all parking has to be self-financing, have, it seems, coalesced, resulting in the current costly charges' hike.
HIRA would like HBC to re-think the Cabinet's decision, that was based on the Parking Office's options. Where are the feasibility studies that indicate there will be no impact on business turnover, particularly in the difficult winter months now that all year charges are in place? What will be the consequential potential for loss of employment both seasonal and full? What is the rationale for uncertain, therefore further negative impact on an already stressed Island desperately trying to compensate for everchanging tourism patterns?
HIRA has yet to receive even one message in favour of the increased parking charges.
We have been given permission to publish an email and a telephone number of the Parking Office in Petersfield so that anyone wishing to report a problem re any Borough parking area may do so directly to them, instead of going through HBC's Midlands Call Centre. Please note, your Councillors are the ones to complain to re Parking Policy decisions, not these contact details!