Plans for Hampshire street parking charges are 'half-baked' claim Liberal Democrats

‘HALF-BAKED’ plans for the county council to take control of on-street parking have been causing problems across Hampshire.

Monday, 28th March 2022, 3:01 pm

Earlier this month, Hampshire County Council announced that it would take charge of all on-street parking, which is currently managed by district councils.

It was hoped that centralising parking would create a more cost-effective, universal parking system - but motorists and politicians alike say these plans are not working.

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On-street parking meters could soon be popping up all over Hampshire

Now, parking plans for Lymington’s high street have been called in for reconsideration by the county council’s own select committee.

Under current proposals, all car parking spaces would become pay and display, excluding bus stops, loading bays and motorcycle parking.

Liberal Democrat spokesman for economy, transport and environment, Cllr Martin Tod, said: ‘The county council's plan to take control of Hampshire's parking was voted down by the council's own select committee by nine votes to five - but the Conservative administration decided to go ahead anyway.

‘The Lymington decision shows why the county council’s plans for parking are such a bad idea: a half-baked poorly-thought-through plan opposed by local town, district and county councillors, the Chamber of Commerce and local residents - and with no thought as to how to make it work in an attractive Georgian high street.

‘If that's how they want to run parking for the whole of Hampshire - slamming parking meters into every market town - without bothering to come up with a plan that has the agreement of local businesses, residents and local councillors - then the new parking arrangements are going to be a disaster. That's why I and my colleagues have called in these decisions: the county council must think again.’

Fareham High Street is another place where on-street parking is no longer free, with motorists having to pay £1 to park more than 20 minutes - with a maximum stay of one hour.

Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Sean Woodward, says the county council’s changes have angered many residents.

He said: ‘It’s too late for Fareham because the meters are already here.

‘We ran on-street parking for many years and had a policy to never charge people for parking.

‘With just 20 minutes of free parking, you have enough time to grab a cake from the bakery and that’s about it.’

Executive member for highways operations, Cllr Russell Oppenheimer, was unavailable for comment.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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