Paphos municipality has hit back at criticism after they introduced parking charges at two of the town’s central car parks.
Both local residents and media have been vocal about the imposition of parking fees at the municipal parking lots behind the former Paphos police department and the car park at the rear of the municipal library.
The municipality announced that before the specific fees were imposed, they made sure that the adjacent space of the nearby primary school remains open 24 hours a day with free parking for the use of the public. This area can serve up to 300 cars, they said.
“The imposition of a parking fee in these two areas is imperative for two main reasons, the first to increase the available spaces, which were occupied for hours or even days by people who parked there causing constant congestion of the space, and secondly, in order to cover at least the costs of maintenance, cleaning, greenery and lighting,” the municipality announced.
The income from these fees is not a profit and will only be used to cover the necessary maintenance costs.
“This is evidenced by the low charge of 1 euro for 4 hours, and 1 euro for one hour in the two spaces respectively,” they added.
For those unable to pay, it was decided that the car park close to the school will operate free of charge.
However, many locals are unhappy with the new charges, saying it is a negative development in an area where there is already little footfall or available car parks.
“I have worked in the old town for a number of years and the parking situation is getting worse. They are creating even more double yellow lines and issuing tickets all of the time, but mostly there is nowhere to park. Why should I pay to park my car, is eats into my wages, it’s just another way for the municipality to make money,” one unhappy car owner told the Cyprus Mail, adding that every morning he goes through ‘hell’ to find somewhere to park.
“These spaces should be free. Who can afford to pay these charges every day? It will also put people off from visiting the old town and doing their shopping there,” said another.
But the municipality said the new tariffs are working well and freeing up spaces from those that were previously hogging them.