Poll of the week: Weston seafront parking charge may rise from £8 to £10

PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 November 2017

Michelle Michael (pictured, top right) said a price rise will damage businesses.

Michelle Michael (pictured, top right) said a price rise will damage businesses.

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The price to park on Weston’s seafront all day could rise from £8 to £10 – a 25 per cent increase which could ‘damage businesses’.

North Somerset Council has confirmed its executive will consider the price hike at its meeting next month.

The changes could be in place by the summer if the plans are approved, but business leaders have already voiced concerns.

Michelle Michael, co-owner of the Grand Pier, said: “At a time when increasing numbers of people are re-engaging with the British seaside, particularly older people who rely on a car, we’d urge the council to seriously consider the implications of this decision.

“Proactive steps are being taken to regenerate Weston, yet in contrast, this sharp increase in parking costs has the potential to damage the business community at the very core of our town, especially when, for many people, the cost of living rises are outstripping rises in income.

“Until the demographic make-up of visitors to Weston changes, those already visiting the resort will not appreciate this increase and will no doubt look for alternative destinations, particularly given that other local coastal resorts offer free parking as an incentive to encourage footfall.

“We should be doing everything we can to welcome and encourage people to come to Weston.

“Visitor spend makes a significant contribution to the town’s economy and this proposed increase will unfortunately not help to encourage and grow tourism in the town.”

If the £10 charge does go ahead, Weston’s seafront parking would be more expensive than Weymouth, which is currently £8.

It costs £8.70 at Hastings, £7.50 in Great Yarmouth, £7 in Clevedon, and £8 in Scarborough. In Blackpool, it is £12 for 24 hours, or £9 for nine to 18 hours.

Paul Batts, chairman of Weston Business Improvement District, said: “I think it would be an own goal because there has been such a lot of bad publicity about parking in general.

“We want people to come to Weston and discover the things happening here and not be put off by thinking things are getting more expensive.

“The more money spent in Weston, the better Weston gets. We don’t want to put people off coming, because then somewhere else gets their money.”

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