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Charging motorists to park in Dover Town Investment Zone could deter shoppers

By Victoria Chessum

Charging motorists for parking in the new Dover Town Investment Zone (DTIZ) could deter shoppers from using it according to one resident.

Head of inward investment at the district council, Tim Ingleton, announced last week in an update meeting that the car park occupying the middle of the planned town centre precinct will charge people one flat rate for parking, as it does now.

Sparking immediate outrage, resident Tracey Colyer retalliated saying it would deter the “cafe culture” which places like Westwood Cross in Thanet (with free parking) currently have.

This is what the scheme could look like on completion
This is what the scheme could look like on completion

Speaking after the meeting, she said: “I do think the council will be making a huge mistake charging across the board for parking in the new shopping centre.

“While I appreciate that some tariff must be levied to prevent commuters parking gratis which would prohibit shoppers and diners or cinema goers utilising the area, there must be a structured system that can cover all aspects from day use to evening plus closing the area at night.

“Since the meeting I have started looking at ‘in town’ shopping centres and their parking pricing policies. It would mean that DDC would have to re-price parking across Dover.

“If the DDC actually gave other schemes or price plans some serious consideration it could be the making of this new area.

“Town parking is a huge issue with many preferring to seek out of town alternatives rather than pay to park.

“An attractive parking proposal will be key. We, the people of Dover, want a regenerated town with the cafe culture and a smart ambience of which we can be proud.”

Chipping in at the meeting, Cllr Bob Frost admitted to Mr Ingleton that he has a “hard job on his hands” creating that happy medium and accomodating all shoppers in the development.

Cllr Frost said: “Westwood Cross has acres of land.

“I drive miles and miles looking for a parking space.

“You have a difficulty with people going to the cinema but at the same time stopping people working in the area parking up all day.”

Cllr Frost added that if parking was free all year round that the area, which has strict size constraints, will become “chock-ablock” very quickly.

It was also noted that with the constant stream of traffic heading to the Eastern Docks that some 13million people will travel alongside the development.

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