RYDE Town Council has appealed to shoppers and business owners in the town to tell them what they think about proposed parking charges in Union Street.

Last week, it was revealed that the Isle of Wight Council was aiming to scrap free parking at key shopping areas on the Isle of Wight including Nodehill in Newport and Union Street, one of Ryde's main shopping areas, as part of its budget proposals.

However, at a meeting of Ryde Town Council on Monday (November 5), members heard a range of views on the issue including from the owner of Bagel Wrap, Nigel Smith, who said if the charges were introduced, they had to take into account the needs of local people.

He said: "Predominantly, we have an elderly population and many still drive and they rely on parking somewhere close to pick up their prescriptions or to visit the bank.

"There needs to be a time limit to parking in Union Street, and no return within the specified time. As a shopping area, it is very successful and you just have to wonder what makes it successful and if parking charges come in, what will be the impact on the street?"

Cllr Wayne Whittle said some people who worked in shops in the town parked their cars in the street and took up spaces which could be used by potential customers.

He said: "It is getting harder and harder to find a space."

Cllr Tim Wakeley invited members of the public and retailers to write into the town council to offer their perspectives on the issue.

He said: "That then will become a matter of discussion for the planning committee, taking into account the views of residents and retailers. There are a lot of nuances to this issue."

The plans will go before cabinet today (Thursday). If approved, they will open for consultation with opposition councillors, before going before full council in February.