A PETITION to scupper new proposed car parking charges on Cowes and Gurnard seafront has collected more than 1,000 signatures in just 24 hours.

Island residents have been quick to oppose pay and display charges set to be introduced on Egypt Esplanade, in Cowes, and Princes Esplanade, in Gurnard ­— fearful of the impact they will have on the towns.

They believe the new charges proposed by the Isle of Wight Council are unsustainable, and will be disproportionate to the traffic flow in the area.

In August, Gurnard Sailing Club had expressed fears the proposal could have a negative impact on its members.

With no on-site parking, members would have to pay £8.60 to park for six to eight hours.

Read more here: Big changes to parking charges...how much more will you pay?

Among the concerns raised are:

  • Parking meters are unlikely to be sustainable.

Given the regular flooding and storm damage to Egypt Esplanade and Princes Esplanade, the revenue stream from meters was unlikely to cover the costs of installation, maintenance and monitoring.

  • Charges inappropriate for the area.

The charges would be at the same level as the Island’s principal resorts of Ryde, Shanklin, Sandown and Ventnor.

  • Charges would penalise vulnerable groups.

The flat, wide pedestrian pavements along the seafront made it one of the most accessible open spaces in Cowes and Gurnard.

People with disabilities and mobility issues, the elderly, and families with young children ­— many of whom are also low-income groups ­— would be disproportionately affected by the parking charges.

  • Charges will hamper volunteer beach cleaning services.

The area relies on volunteers to keep the beach and seafront clear of litter, which would be made more difficult by parking charges.

  • Charges will cause congestion on unrestricted roads.

Nearby, unrestricted roads already suffer from congestion at school drop off/pick up times, and parking charges on the seafront are likely to exacerbate this problem.

Some parents choose to park on the seafront and walk up Woodvale Road to ease congestion around Gurnard Primary School ­— an option which would no longer be free.

The proposed path from the school to the seafront to solve the congestion problem would no longer be worthwhile.

Some properties along the seafront have no parking bays and residents would be forced to park in nearby unrestricted roads.

  • Charges would have a devastating impact on local businesses and their staff.

Local businesses recovering from the Covid-19 lockdown would struggle if customers were required to pay for parking.

Adam Provis, who launched the petition on Monday, is asking the Isle of Wight Council to reconsider its plans.

You can view the petition by visiting www.change.org/p/isle-of-wight-council-stop-the-proposed-car-parking-charges-on-cowes-and-gurnard-seafront?