Disabled drivers and Sunday shoppers visiting Eastleigh will now have to pay to use the newly refurbished Mitchell Road multi storey car park.
The council have introduced a ‘a pay on foot system ‘ as part of a £1 million refit which means that blue badge holders will lose their concessions.
Last September local Lib Dems had attacked the County Council for introducing charges for disabled drivers in county car parks, describing the ruling conservative councillors as ‘Cruel and heartless’ but since then they themselves have commenced charging disabled motorists, first on the Swan centre roof top car park and now the Mitchell Road multi storey.
The council have defended the decision saying that pay on foot was a fairer system for the majority of users (who are able bodied) as they would only pay for the period they actually used and that pay & display car park s (which are further away) would still be free to blue badge holders.
In addition to taking advantage of the less able bodied, the council have also stealthily introduce parking charges in Mitchell road for Sunday’s and Bank Holidays – despite shopper’s footfall in town centre decreasing.
This will be of concerns to small traders in Eastleigh especially those who open on Sundays.
Winchester City Council Lib Dems recently introduced Sunday parking charges in Winchester in the teeth of opposition from local traders.
However Independents on the City Council joined forces with the Conservatives to overturn the decision.
The Major electrical retailer Curry’s recently shut its Eastleigh branch citing lack of trade and relocated staff to its Hedge end branch where parking is free.