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Published by John Graney, Brading Town Councillor.
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Letter to the Editor of the Isle of Wight County Press
6 April 2021.

Sir

I had to go to Newport the other day. I didn't have a lot of business to transact but I paid 2 for an hour's parking on the street. I am not particularly mean but it did occur to me later that I could have saved 30 pence by using a car park. I clearly had too much time for idle speculation (and all the coffee shops were closed) so I looked up what an hour's parking might cost me elsewhere.

Lewes in East Sussex is a county town a few miles from seaside resorts. It has a slightly smaller population than Newport but the size of the town centre is roughly comparable. Parking for an hour there is 70p. You can stay a whole day for 4.10 and the car park is free after 5pm. In Newport the cost for the maximum three hours is 5.10. Other places are similar to Lewes. Devizes is 70p an hour, Andover 1 an hour. London is, of course very different. Locally speaking, in Portsmouth and Southampton the city council car parks also cheaper than Newport if not by much. So if car parking charges are any sort of a guide Newport is a bustling metropolis full of shops with attractions to rival anywhere nearby. Isn't it?

Another thing that puzzles me is, what happens to all the excess money deposited in parking machines that do not give change? If I put 2 in to pay for an hour in a car park because I do not have 1.70 in change. How is that 30p accounted for? Surely if the rate is 1.70 per hour it is not impossible for the machine to be programmed to allow me an hour and ten minutes on a pro rata basis.

John Graney
Brading John Graney
Brading