Friday, 8 Dec 2023

Fury as parking at beauty hotspot set for £2.10 hike as the council ‘cash in’

Parking charges in a trendy seaside town are set to soar as the council hopes to “cash in” on its popularity.

Prices in Whitstable, Kent, are set to rise by £2.10 with some car parks expected to charge £3.70 per hour.

Currently, locals and tourists can park for as little as £1.60 in some car parks. The new plans have proven controversial, with some local businesses fearing a decline in sales.

Canterbury City Council have also suggested scrapping their free midweek parking offer that is often used by parents picking up their children on the school run.

The plans were unveiled by the new Labour-Lib Dem coalition, with some opponents branding them “crazy”.

READ MORE: Ten UK areas with worst house price drops – including seaside spot Bournemouth

Conservative opposition leader Rachel Carnac said: “It appears this council is cashing in on people enjoying our coastline and spending money in Herne Bay and Whitstable – whether they are locals or visitors.

“The rises are detrimental for businesses trying to recover after the pandemic and now through the cost-of-living crisis.

“We will fight these increases and will back our coastal communities, which need support.”

According to the council, the new proposals are part of a new draft budget that is set to generate more than £1million in revenue.

Canterbury’s car parks were split into bands that would decide which tariff was charged. The priciest, in Band One, will see an hourly rate of £3.70 under new proposals.

Five of them are in Whitstable, with the town’s biggest car park, Gorrell Tank, and nearby Keams Yard, falling under the band.

Papers show the increases at these two Whitstable sites alone would generate an additional £410,000, reports KentOnline.

Resident Gerry Skinner wrote on Facebook: “I parked in the centre of Windsor four weeks ago for six hours and it cost me £12.50 – under this scheme in the Gorrell Tank it’s costing £22.20. I’ve yet in my travels outside London to find anywhere dearer than the CCC area.”

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