Isle of Wight takeaway owners slam parking plans

Upper St James Street Free parking for 30 minutes is currently allowed on Upper St James Street

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A proposal to end free parking on an Isle of Wight street would be "disastrous" for the economy, takeaway owners have claimed

The island's council has proposed extending pay and display parking to Upper St James Street in Newport as part of its 2014-15 budget.

More than 500 people have signed a petition to keep the 30 minutes of free parking.

The authority said extra charges in the town would raise £20,000 a year.

Meli Selak, owner of Stotesbury's fish and chip shop which has been trading since 1897, said customers not being able to park for free would "ruin the economy when it is already fragile".

"It would be disastrous and would lead to shops closing down. No-one wants to come to the Isle of Wight to see gloomy, empty streets."

Councillor Jonathan Gilbey, cabinet member responsible for resources, said "difficult decisions" had to be made as the independent-run council aims to save £28m in the next three financial years.

"Introducing pay and display parking in Upper St James's Street is currently one of a number of budget proposals being looked into as well an in depth review of all aspects of council business.

"I would like to reiterate that no decisions on any of these have been made."

Updated council budget proposals are due to be published on Friday.

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