Pulling the plug on free spaces
Tuesday 19th February 2013, 3:00PM GMT.
PUBLICATION of the ports master plan and its conclusion that North Beach is a key component of any modernisation and expansion of the commercial port has put paid parking back on the agenda.
In turn, it is clear that Public Services will not stop until it gets its hands on the island’s premier parking area and will cite ‘security requirements’ and health and safety to do so.
From the report, one-sided and unchallenged as it is, that makes sense, although the growth forecasts underpinning expansion do look questionable.
So commuters, shoppers and retailers need to be aware that in the foreseeable future, North Beach will no longer be available as it currently is and the Policy Council of the day will endorse that move.
The issue, for all the talk over the weekend of retail and transport strategies, is much clearer: what will replace North Beach? PSD is being rather disingenuous in saying that what it takes from the area could be replaced by multi-storey since it has no intention of funding it.
And even if the States felt it a sensible use of taxpayer money to spend millions to provide car owners with free temporary garaging, it doesn’t have the cash to spend anyway. Not unless other more deserving capital projects are suspended.
All of which means Town will lose its main car park unless a replacement is paid for by those who use it. And in that context, does it make any sense to leave the rest of parking there free?
As PSD puts it in its report, ‘There is an increasing competitive requirement for car parking within St Peter Port, which compromises the available land space and limits the scope for the provision of further facilities within the port area.’
In other words, car spaces have a high value and islanders are prepared to spend freely, either through house prices, direct rental or through choice of employer, to secure guaranteed access to one.
To date, government chooses to ignore this economic reality and continues to use public funds to subsidise commuters.
PSD’s harbour plan is about to pull the plug on that.
CampaignsVoice For Victims
Voice for Victims is a campaign aimed at promoting the rights of those affected by child sexual abuse.