Charges for long stay parking in the Town centre have just risen by up to 7%, well over the rate of inflation.
Even before the latest rise, visitors to Eastleigh who may have wished to linger in order to enjoy the new restaurants, bowling alley and cinema would have had to pay considerably more for parking than they might expect to in local, rival Towns and Cities.
The revised cost of parking for 5 hours in Eastleigh’s multi storey car parks is now £8 (for 4 – 8 hours up from £7.50 )
This contrasts with City centre long stay, multi storey car parks in Southampton (Grosvenor Square) and Winchester (Chesil Street) which charge £5 and £6 repectively for the same 5 hour period.
The cost of long stay parking in local Towns Fareham and Romsey is also much cheaper. Fareham charges £4.50 for 5 hours while Romsey has the cheapest price locally at £3.
The new £8 fee even applies to the dilapadated car park on Southampton Road, which the council has identified as being in need of £1 million worth of urgent repairs.
While long stay car parks in Winchester,Fareham and Romsey offer free parking on Sundays and Bank Holidays the Swan Centre car park, which is popular with visitors to the Vue Cinema and AMF Bowling, still charge.
Greedy parking bosses even expect disabled people, who need to get close to the leisure facilites as they can, to pay to park at the Swan centre – Blue Badge holders get no concessions.
Trade in Eastleigh Town centre has also been adversly affected recently by a number of other factors: the recession, weather, power cuts and road works.
Are these parking charges a rip off that threatens town traders? Or are above inflation parking charges just a clever way to deliver below inflation Council tax rises?