From Paul Schofield, Cowes:
THE IW Council will be running a public consultation on whether to charge passengers on the floating bridge (CP, 11-07-14), even though the integrity of the supplied revenue statements is considered by a number of councillors to be innacurate and unsubstantiated.
Sadly, therefore, council tax payers’ money will now be wasted on a fruitless exercise and, equally sadly, some of the council members who are now baying at the heels of the poor East Cowes residents, do not understand the dynamic of the West Cowes/East Cowes relationship, which is crucial to the continuation of East Cowes’s regeneration.
If charges were implemented, use by pedestrians would collapse and reduce only to those who had no other choice than to travel across the Medina for work, etc.
Visitors of opportunity from West Cowes, of whom there are a great many, would cease.
After all, why should they pay extra when they can procure everything they need in their home town?
To impose charges would be akin to an increase in council tax by stealth, a burden on Cowes residents and double the penalty on East Cowes residents, as it would badly affect the prosperity of the town, as may be remembered when charges were last applied many years ago.
How fortunate, then, East Cowes has the services of Cllrs Baker-Smith and Hillard, who do understand the dynamics and who are doing their best to protect the interests of the town.
When this ill advised public consultation comes out, let us hope residents of both towns, and others, reject the imposition of pedestrian charges and save East Cowes from returning to the Cinderella town it once was.