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GSD questions ‘hasty’ decision to ‘ram through’ hikes in parking fees

The GSD has criticised the Gibraltar Government for increasing parking from £65 to £95 per month without any prior public warning, adding that “hasty” measures were being “rammed through” without public discussion.

This price hike will affect people with parking spaces in garages at Europlaza, New Harbours, Theatre Royal and Engineers Lane, with further increases of up to 50% anticipated for other car parking areas.

The GSD said these measures “cannot be seen in isolation”, adding that they follow similar price increases in the MidTown parking facility.

“These measures are being rammed through without public discussion let alone public consultation,” the GSD yesterday said in a statement.

“Other traffic measures are being expedited and implemented in a manner that is too hasty and does not allow proper planning or other supportive measures to be put in place.”

“Traffic, transport and parking are key areas of policy which affect the lives of all in our community and there are a myriad of views on recently announced package of traffic and parking measures.”

“The recent announcements have led to widespread confusion as to the detailed rationale for the measures which are ultimately framed around discouraging the use of cars on our roads on environment grounds.”

The GSD said detailed modelling and expert advice needs to be taken in order to ensure that these measures will work and they have taken into account the impact they will have on the wider community.

The party added that the “language and messaging on the measures appears to radically change almost daily”, and that road closures described as “partial” were now being described as a “road restriction”.

“These measures were being rushed by June 1 when insufficient planning had been carried out and any consultation carried out from now till the end of the month can only be cursory,” the GSD added.

“In relation to the reintroduction of road tax the Government appears to now be rowing back from that with the Minister now publicly describing this as a ‘pollution tax’.”

“The redefinition of policies looks like shooting from the hip and is demonstrating to the public that the Government has not thought this through.”

“In respect of parking charges the Government have failed to explain the detailed rationale for the significant increases and what they hope to achieve causing widespread disquiet amongst many.”

Shadow Minister for Transport, Health and the Environment, Elliott Phillips, said:
“We all want a greener, cleaner and safer Gibraltar for all members of our community.”

“However, we all also want a clear, consistent and detailed plan which will reassure members of the public as to the purpose behind significant traffic and parking measures.”

“None of this was in the Sustainable Transport plan published before the election produced at considerable cost to the taxpayer or in their manifesto on which they asked people to vote for them.”

“As a community we can be bold but there is no excuse for not doing the groundwork and poor planning of ill-thought out measures which the Government eventually abandons as in the case of their failed attempt at introducing cycling lanes in Main Street and Irish Town.”