Fareham traders hit out as Hampshire county council plans £1 on-street parking charge
TRADERS have spoken out out against pay and display parking set to be implemented in Fareham town centre.
Hampshire County Council wants to scrap the current free short-term parking in sections of the high street.
Currently, shoppers can park up for 40 minutes at no charge but under the plans they will have to pay £1 for a maximum stay of one hour. The charges apply between 8am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.
Fareham Wine Cellar, one of England's leading wine merchants, sits on the north end of the high street where many customers use the free on-street parking.
Owner Roy Gillingham said he is expecting a downturn as a result of the county council putting in parking restrictions.
‘Making people pay will be another handicap for a local business basically,' he said.
‘Whenever parking restrictions are applied anywhere they create a change in behaviour.
‘There’s always a downturn in business, people don’t like paying where they’ve been able to park for free for the last 50 to 100 years.
‘It’s the final straw in many respects because originally there used to be free parking for up to 40 mins which worked very well.
‘It has caused some nervous concern because we don’t know how people are going to react.’
The west side of the high street will have pay and display parking bays for the general public while the east side will have the same for permit holders.
Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council said this is not something he or borough council supports.
‘It does seem that Fareham is the guinea pig in this,’ he said.
‘My view has always been that parking on the street should be free of charge.
‘All the time that we ran on-street parking, which we did for many years, we kept it free and I think it's regrettable that it's going to be charged.
‘It's something that the county council has decided to do to raise cash I’m sure.
'There are enormous savings that the county council needs to make.
‘It’s that sort of convenient parking that will be affected, whether that makes a big difference or not I don't know.'
The county council manages the enforcement of on-street parking rules.
For more information see hants.gov.uk/community/publicnotices/publicnoticedetails?id=12009
Residents can submit objections to [email protected]