Parking problems in Exmouth come under the spotlight next week with the launch of a public consultation proposing residents’ permits, on-street pay-and-display and waiting restrictions.
The proposed parking shake-up starts when hundreds of consultation cards are sent to homes in some of Exmouth’s most congested streets, including The Colony, Withycombe Raleigh and the town centre.
Devon County Council’s residents’ parking consultation runs from Friday, October 4 until October 25. It was prompted by complaints from those living in streets considered problem areas.
A parking problem zone has been identified and residents or traders with homes and businesses on roads and streets inside the area can expect to receive a consultation card in the post.
Devon County Council says the aim of the scheme was to ensure residents have priority to park within their own area, while also recognising needs of local schools and businesses.
The council has proposed Exmouth has a combination of:
- Resident Parking Zonal Restrictions – lengths of road with no road markings where only vehicles with permits can park.
- Pay-and-display bays with or without exemptions for resident permit holders – marked bays that enable some non-permanent parking for nearby employment areas to continue.
- Limited waiting with or without exemptions for resident permit holders – marked bays that enable some shorter stay non-permit parking for local facilities.
- Residents’ permits would cost £30 each, limited to two per household but unlimited for multi-car homes when the scheme is first introduced.
- Visitor permits – £30 for a book of 30 day-stay permits. Issued twice a year.
- Business permits. A maximum of three permits available on a sliding cost, between £30 and £150.
- Essential visitor permits for carers. No cost.
Roads inside the problem zone include: Shelly Reach, Point Terrace, St Andrew’s Road, Victoria Road, Morton Crescent, Imperial Road, Halsdon Road, Hartop Road, New North Road, Salisbury Road, Egremont Road, Carter Avenue Exeter Road, Lyndhurst Road, Bridge Road, Park Road, Park Lane, Withycombe Road, Marpool Hill, Madeira Villas and Lawn Road.
Church Road, Danby Lane, Ryll Grove, Meadow Street, Meeting Street, Clarence Road, North Street, Bakery Lane, Windsor Square, Albion Hill, Marpool Hill. Withycombe Road, Bridge Road, Montpelier Road, Albion Place, Albion Street, Meeting Street, Meadow Street, New Street, South Street, Pound Street, Gussiford Lane, Hartley Road, Bicton Street, Fore Street, Rolle Road and Rolle Street are also inside the zone.
Richard Scott, Devon county councillor for Exmouth, urged people to carefully consider the pros and cons of residents’ permits.
He said restrictions would only operate between 8am and 6pm and were unlikely to end Exmouth’s parking problems.
Cllr Scott said the introduction of permits would mean a ‘big change’ for the town.
“This is not going to be quite the magic wand everyone thinks it’s going to be. There are far too many vehicles, that’s the problem,” said Cllr Scott. “The public perception of residents’ parking is you will get a parking space outside your house. That’s not how it works. If you have a permit you will be able to park anywhere within the scheme.
“Residents needs to read the document and understand fully the pros and cons.
“It’s not going to solve the entire issue. It might alleviate some of it.
“The criteria needs to be read very, very, carefully.”
Devon County Council said the consultation was in response to residents experiencing difficulties with current on-street parking.
The zone has been set out to prevent pushing parking congestion to neighbouring roads.
The council said residents’ consultation comments will contribute to the final decision.
Cllr Scott said residents’ views were ‘extremely important’ and urged people to get involved.
“Everybody in the designated area will get a card asking them to take part,” said Cllr Scott.
“Other people who live outside the designated area will have their views considered.
“Residents need to carefully and fully weigh up the benefits, cost and implications.
“It’s not going to be a 24-hour permit scheme. It’s a daytime permit scheme.
“If the residents come back and say this isn’t going to work and won’t make a difference, at least we have lanced a boil – and we will have to be more creative with what we are going to do.”
He added: “Councillor Jeff Trail and I have recognised and listened to the concerns of residents.
“Jeff and I committed in May 2017 to support a consultation to allow residents a say on a controversial issue.
“Our officers have worked extremely hard to put together this consultation together, giving residents a chance to feedback their views.
“We ask all residents to read in detail the scope and practicalities of the scheme before responding.”
The consultation states:
- Residents’ permits cost £30 each, limited to two per household to allow for equal distribution. When the scheme is first introduced current residents can buy as many permits as needed for eligible vehicles and continue to renew them for the time they live at the property.
- Visitor permits are available to all homes in the area; £30 per issue of 30 daily permits, with two issues a year allowed. Visitors’ permits are valid for the day of issue until 10am the next day.
- Business permits are for vehicles necessary for the day-to-day running of a business within the scheme. Not for commuter parking. A maximum of three permits are available on a sliding scale: £30 for the first, £75 for the second, £150 for the third. Hotels and B&Bs, permits for guests cost £30 for 20 daily permits.
- Essential visitor permits are free of charge, available for households within the zone where they can demonstrate a need for care support of an ill resident.
- Permission to park. Issued at the discretion of the council. Granted for planned works at premises adjacent to, or within, parking restrictions, where it is essential a vehicle is parked near a property in order to carry out works.
- Blue badge holders. Disabled drivers displaying a blue badge are exempt from residents’ parking, pay-and-display and limited waiting.
The consultation takes place from October 4 until October 25.
Postcards will be sent out next week and the online portal opens on October 4.