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Shepway council gives nod to parking charges at Princes Parade in Hythe

By Sean Axtell

Parking charges are to be introduced alongside a popular Kent sea front.

Cllr Ann Berry, Shepway District Council’s (SDC) cabinet member for transport, said the decision was made to improve parking flow and ease congestion on Hythe seafront for when 150 homes and a leisure centre are built.

It comes as we revealed the authority’s planning application for the development has already cost taxpayers more than £800,000 before it has been approved.

Princes Parade, Hythe
Princes Parade, Hythe

Cllr Berry (Con), said: “Nobody likes change, particularly if it affects them but it is important to progress.

“There are more and more cars in the road and in the next five years there will be more.

“They are looking to build down there and that will create more cars. I can understand people’s feelings.

“In my own road more and more cars are parking but there is going to come a time when people say enough is enough.”

Councillor Ann Berry
Councillor Ann Berry

Under the scheme roadside traders, Rio’s ice cream for example, will not face a levy but visitors will pay from 60p per half hour to £7 a day.

A pay-per-minute scheme will also be introduced to “give more flexibility to motorists” added Cllr Berry.

The authority hopes to raise £633,945 through the scheme this year with the charges introduced on April 1.

In a letter to consulted residents, SDC said: “Your comments were analysed and presented in a report to the cabinet member for transport, Cllr Ann Berry.

“Having carefully considered the arguments, Cllr Berry has decided to proceed with making the traffic regulation order, as the benefits of introducing the scheme outweigh any detriments.”

Cllr Berry will review parking in surrounding roads three months after the scheme takes off to monitor overflow congestion in surrounding residential streets.

The letter adds: “There were also many comments about the fixed hourly tariffs proposed.

“In response to this, Cllr Berry has also agreed to introduce linear per minute charging, which will allow customers to pay per minute for the time they actually need.

“There will also be a 30 minutes minimum stay period.

“Licensed traders will also be offered a free parking waiver as part of their licence.

“Work to implement the scheme will commence over the next few weeks.”

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