Boat owners behind marina parking fee

DEVELOPERS and planners should be criticised for the parking problems at Portishead marina and not the business running the harbour, according to boat owners and some Portishead residents.

Numerous residents were angered when Portishead Quay Marinas, which manages the marina, announced last week that it was going to introduce parking charges to its waterside car park. Boat owners, however, have defended Quay Marina’s decision to implement fees to non-customers.

In a letter to the Times, boat owner and resident of Portishead’s Hillside Road, Paul Melhuish, says he is astounded by the reaction from the Portishead councillor and Port Marine residents who objected to the proposed charges in last week’s paper.

He said: “After allowing people to use their private car park free of charge for several years, Portishead Quay Marinas is going to start charging non-customers to park, while allowing their customers to park free.

“What is outrageous is that while Quay Marinas has planned its business in such a way that it can provide the necessary parking for its customers, the building developers, the council’s planning department and other nearby businesses have failed to do the same.”

People living in the marina development fear parking chaos in the streets once charges are introduced to the only marina car park next month, but berth holders say the marina managers are just looking after their customers - and quite rightly so.

Mr Melhuish added: “Portishead marina is indeed an important asset of the town, but it is a business and it is not the marina’s responsibility to provide free parking for anyone who just turns up.”

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Portishead marina holds the Five Gold Anchors award, the highest award given to a marina by The Yacht and Harbour Association. Portishead Quay Marinas manages the quay, providing boat owners with 24-hour facilities. Its website states the team aims to ensure its customers’ stay at Portishead Quays is as safe and enjoyable as possible, which includes providing sufficient parking.