‘Greedy’ car park charges fuel hundreds to sign Sidmouth petition ahead of council consideration

People power has rallied against ‘greedy’ car park price hike plans set for district council consideration later today (Wednesday).

Hundreds have signed a petition, backed by businesses, objecting to plans to turn Sidmouth’s Temple Street free car park into pay-and-display.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is reviewing its parking tariffs in a move which could earn it an extra £400,000 a year.

The proposed changes go before its cabinet today, October 2, with a view to them going out to public consultation.

East Devon District Council currently manages a portfolio of 50 car parks and is reviewing its tariffs for 2019/20.

The council is proposing East Devon’s free car parks become pay-and-display and charges at busy spots rocket by 50 per cent.

The move to take away 11 free spaces at Temple Street, Sidmouth, has prompted neighbouring businesses to launch a petition.

More than 300 signatures have been collected within a week of the petition going public.

Businessman and dad-of-three James McLean, co-owner of Sidmouth Pets, in Temple Street, said: “Everybody that comes into me, and lots of people passing by, have been happy to sign.

“They are quite disgusted they are considering charging for a tiny car park.

“People really want this car park. They are saying keep it free.

“Some people have said how greedy it is. Greed has probably been the main comment, sadly.

“People parking there aren’t going into town. They are only shopping with me or the other businesses. They are parking there for ten minutes tops. It’s a high turnover in that car park, they are in and out, in and out.

“I hesitate to say this could be fatal for us, but me and my wife are genuinely worried.

“If people are put off, our margins are small. It could spell disaster for us.”

Sidmouth

James McLean, co-owner of Sidmouth Pets, in Temple Street, with some of the 300-plus signatures.
Photo: EastDevonNews

EDDC members have been told eight free-of-charge public car parks in Exmouth, Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Newton Poppleford, Sidbury and Broadclyst should become pay-and-display.

A 50 per cent rise in charges – from £1 to £1.50 per hour – is also being proposed for a dozen car parks in ‘prime areas’.

The sites where spaces are said to be ‘at a premium’ are in Honiton, Exmouth, Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Axminster, Seaton and Beer.

It is hoped the increase will ease congestions and see drivers use ‘less-popular’ car parks.

A ‘promotional tariff’ of £2 all-day parking in the Canaan Way and Brook Street car parks in Ottery St Mary has been proposed.

And cabinet members are also being asked to sign-off a year-long trial of free coach parking in the Seaton Jurassic coach park.

Most EDDC car parks operate on £1 per hour tariffs.

Costs at coastal long-stay facilities are capped at £6 for 24 hours, inland long-stay sites at £3 for 24 hours, and short-stay car parks at £3 for four hours.

Sidmouth

Hundreds have signed a petition, backed by businesses, objecting to plans to turn Sidmouth’s Temple Street free car park into pay-and-display.
Photo: EastDevonNews

Free East Devon car parks where charges are proposed are:

  • Upper Station Road car park, Budleigh Salterton – end leasing to the town council and operate as a long-stay pay-and-display car park;
  • Brook Road car park, Budleigh Salterton – operate as a short-stay pay-and-display car park;
  • The Green car park, Broadclyst – operate as a long-stay pay-and-display car park;
  • School Lane car park, Newton Poppleford – operate as a long-stay pay-and-display car park;
  • Temple Street car park(free for two hours), Sidmouth – operate as a short-stay pay-and-display car park;
  • Blackmore Gardens car park, Sidmouth – operate as a short-stay pay-and-display car park with special arrangements for health centre and library users;
  • Manor Farm Estate car park, Sidbury – operate as either a permit holder or resident reserved space car park;
  • Jarvis Close car park, Littleham Cross, Exmouth – operate as a short-stay pay-and-display car park;

‘High demand’ East Devon car parks where a 50 per cent increase in charges is proposed are:

  • Lace Walk short-stay car park, Honiton;
  • West Street short-stay car park, Axminster;
  • Orchard car park, Seaton;
  • Central short-stay car park, Beer;
  • Ham East, Sidmouth;
  • Ham West,Sidmouth;
  • Roxburgh,Sidmouth;
  • Mill Street, Sidmouth;
  • Rolle Mews car park, Budleigh Salterton;
  • London Inn car park, Exmouth;
  • Imperial Road car park, Exmouth;
  • Queen’s Drive car park, Exmouth.

 

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