A day of action in Hoylake and West Kirby saw more than 300 people take part in a public meeting and demonstration against the Town Hall’s plan for coastal parking charges.
Saturday’s action, organised by local councillors and residents, saw senior Highways officers questioned at a meeting in Melrose Hall, Hoylake followed by a march along the promenade at West Kirby.
If implemented, the plan will see people who live on or near promenades being charged £8,000 a year for parking near their homes as well charges for any visitors who wish to park near the coast.
Councillor Andrew Gardner said: “The Town Hall’s plans have been shown to stem from parking issues in New Brighton, but they’ve forgotten that Hoylake, Meols and West Kirby parades are residential areas.
“We are insisting the Council go back to the drawing board on this. It’s outrageous that people will be charged £8,000 a year to park outside their own house.”
Local resident and march organiser Ruth Trout said "the Council's plans for the parking charges are short-sighted and the full impact on residents and small businesses has been disregarded by these plans. Our side roads are already congested often leading to residents parking on South Parade and this has been exacerbated by the recent introduction of restricted parking on Banks Road. If this scheme goes ahead we are expected to pay £2 for during the day and £20 at night.
"The same is expected of residents who actually live on South Parade, some of whom have lived and parked there for over 20 years. The Council are not providing parking they are actually penalising residents and charging them to park near their homes, is this fair?
"Parking is also essential to small businesses and should not be used as a money grabbing exercise. This is also putting a cost on our beautiful coastal views and fresh air which will impact the health and wellbeing of those who will no longer be able to afford it if the parking charges go ahead."
Councillor Tony Cox said: 'The Labour led Council is once again disregarding public opinion. It is clear this is an ill-conceived policy that is doomed to failure.'
The Town Hall’s plan will see parking charges introduced in New Brighton, Wallasey, Meols, Hoylake and West Kirby.
Consultation on the proposals runs until 22 June and can be found here: http://www.wirral.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-travel/parking/proposed-new-parking-charges