Parking charges are set to be reintroduced across the Island next week, as more people return to work and shops prepare to reopen.
From Monday 8 June, on duty key workers will be the only people who can continue to park for free.
Since the end of March, on-street parking and car parks operated by the Isle of Wight Council have been free to help make life easier for residents at this difficult time.
However, with shops slowly starting to reopen and more people returning to work following the easing of lockdown rules, the council has taken the decision to start charging again.
Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “We felt it important to offer free parking during the stay-home lockdown to support essential journeys by carers and NHS staff.
“Residents have done the right thing by staying home to save lives but we feel now is the right time to start reintroducing parking charges as we edge towards a degree of normality.
“The reintroduction of parking charges and enforcement has a part to play in controlling the numbers of people visiting our town centres, keeping traffic moving and supporting a higher turnover of spaces.”
The council said a number of important factors were considered in making this decision. These included:
• current work to encourage and enable people to safely and confidently visit our town centres;
• the need to manage parking behaviour;
• the need to return to charging for car parks in a manner that supports and contributes to the Island’s economy; and
• the need to support steps to reduce carbon emissions in line with the council’s Climate Emergency declaration.
Residents are being advised to either use parking permits (available at www.iwight.com) or the PaybyPhone app through which they can pay to park without having to use a machine.
Councillor Ward added: “Public health and safety is clearly a priority and we acknowledge that some people may be wary about using, or queuing at, the pay and display machines.
“I would remind you to observe social distancing if you need to queue to pay at a machine and use hand sanitiser once you have completed your transaction.”
The council asks that key workers place evidence in their windscreen of their key worker status — such as a letter from their employer confirming their key worker status — or a photocopy of their work pass with sensitive information removed.
If key workers do not have any evidence to place in their windscreen and receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), they will need to contact the council via https://www.iow.gov.uk/Residents/Transport-Parking-and-Streets/Parking-Services/Penalty-Charge-Notice/InformalChallenge
The council will follow the government’s guidance on the definition of key workers.