All year parking charges could kill seaside, say Great Yarmouth tourist bosses
- Credit: Archant
Tourism chiefs and seafront businesses have hit out at plans to impose parking charges during the winter months in Great Yarmouth.
Currently on-street parking charges run from April 1 until September 30 in Marine Parade, North Drive and South Beach Parade.
Under controversial proposals, charges for pay and display would be demanded all year and also into the summer evenings by the Norfolk Parking Partnership (NPP), which is led by Norfolk County Council.
The owner of the Hippodrome Circus Peter Jay said the charges were a threat to the seafront.
MORE: Anger over revived bid to extend pay and display parking in Norfolk seaside townsHe added: 'Parking has killed town centres around the country and now they could be killing the seaside too.
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'We all go out of our way to put things on out of season so this is not a good idea at all. The situation has got out of control. Doing this, when we all work so hard to try and bring people to the town out of season, would be killing the winter time. It's totally ridiculous. Charging in the summer is bad enough – people do not want to go out of their way and be charged lots of money for parking.'
Project manager at the Greater Yarmouth Tourism BID Karen Young said they were working to attract visitors throughout the year and these changes would counter that.
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More than 30 of its members had written to the county council to express their concerns.
In a letter of objection Ms Youngs wrote: 'With a growing number of seafront businesses now remaining open during the winter months the charges will undoubtedly have a detrimental impact on their business growth.'
In a statement Norfolk County Council said: 'The revenue generated by introducing these winter charges will go back into the partnership which is currently facing a deficit. If the partnership does generate a surplus in the future we will look at investing this money back into the Great Yarmouth area.
'We are in the process of writing to those who contacted us through our initial consultation to share our findings and then we will be moving to the next stage of public consultation where notices about the orders will be published.'
Great Yarmouth Borough Council party leaders opposed the plans in a joint letter.