Parking fears for Ramsey residents

Tuesday 12th October 2021 9:11 am
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Proposed plans for West Quay in Ramsey Image: Department of Infrastructure

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Concerns have arisen regarding the potential loss of more than 50 parking spaces in a bid to improve flood defences in West Quay in Ramsey.

Plans to redevelop the area in the town were submitted for approval by the Department of Infrastructure (DoI).

The £4m project includes a new sea wall, reconstruction of the road that runs alongside the quay and the installation of a new leisure area.

According to the planning statement of case, the objectives of the scheme are to ’improve the existing sea defences’ and ’introduce a greater sense of place’ in an attempt to increase footfall in the area.

Juan McGuinness, a Ramsey commissioner, said: ’I’m really not happy with the loss of 50 to 60 parking spaces for the town.

’I think that would be massively detrimental and I’m disappointed that the Ramsey Town Commissioners have been in discussion with the DoI for the past 18 months to two years and have expressed dissatisfaction with the loss of parking spaces but they’re doing it anyway.’

The commissioner felt it would impact retail in the town.

Mr McGuinness continued: ’I truly believe that Ramsey’s unique selling point is the ability to get a parking space within a reasonable distance to the main shopping area.

’With the reducing numbers we may face, it’s going to make it harder for businesses that are already struggling to survive after Covid.’

Ramsey residents Sally Huxham and Steve Glynn set up a petition on Change.org called ’Save Our Parking’.

They aren’t against redevelopment but the ’detriment of essential parking’.

Ms Huxham, business owner at Vannin Office Point, said: ’We know only too well how valuable the free parking spaces on the quay are and [how much] the two-hour stay car parks are relied upon.

’We also have many customers who come and frequently use the shops, restaurants and cafes and they rely on being able to park.

’Some might have limited mobility.’

Mr Glynn, who works in retail, said: ’We care about how the proposed changes will affect the residents, workers and shoppers.

’It will have an impact on so many people in different ways.’

A DoI spokesperson responded: ’A proposal that would have replaced the lost parking was discussed with the commissioners, who decided not to take the offer forward. Although there is no shortage of parking in Ramsey, the DoI believes there are opportunities to develop more off-street parking within the town. Discussions will continue with the local authority to enable this to happen. Independent parking studies carried out in 2001 and 2019 indicated occupancy rates of 70% within the town centre.

’This equates to 290 unused parking spaces that could be used to accommodate up to 60 vehicles displaced by the proposed scheme.

’[We] will continue to work with the local authority [but] the scheme will not proceed without political and financial support.

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