Council's 'triple blow' to tourism

By Richard Wright

Saturday, April 17, 2010

 

A TRIPLE blow was aimed by the Isle of Wight Council at tourism, a meeting was told.

Shanklin town councillor Chris Quirk, an independent member, accused the Isle of Wight Council of unnecessarily axing Dotto trains, taking a negative approach to keeping open the Military Road and first withdrawing and then hiking-up the cost of tourists’ parking permits.

Cllr Quirk, chairman of the Shanklin Hotel and Accommodation Association and a member of the Isle of Wight Tourism Development Board, said permit withdrawal would have hit hard seafront hotels with no on-site parking.

"Increasing the cost to £70 comes as Cornwall reduces its to £22. Perhaps that illustrates how Cornwall is getting things right and we are getting things wrong," he told last week’s town council meeting.

Isle of Wight Council leader Cllr David Pugh said officers simply recognised that keeping the erosion-threatened Military Road open would be an uphill struggle but the council cabinet had agreed to consult and do its best.

The council was not prepared to pour council money into new Dotto trains when Southern Vectis was being paid millions in subsidies for other routes.

Cllr Pugh said he intervened to preserve tourist parking permits for this season and they — and all other permit fees — were now subject to comprehensive review.

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk

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