Car park wrangle

SIR - It is no secret that, since June 2011, I have had a dispute with East Devon District Council over the lack of supervision that they pay to parking in this car park.

This was reported in the Sidmouth Herald dated July 1 and my letter that was published on August 12.

Since then, despite the fact that the EDDC’s Civil Enforcement Officers have been provided with the index numbers of the offending vehicles, which are all owned by the same family living in Temple Street, they have been either unwilling or unable to issue any parking penalty tickets when there have been ample opportunities to do so.

An interesting fact has been revealed by one of the very same CEO’s that, although the parking regulations start at 8am and finish at 6pm they, themselves, do not commence work until 9am.

It has also been revealed that the CEO’s who enforce the car parks do not enforce the regulations regarding the parking of vehicles on single and double yellow lines. What a waste of manpower!

For many years, the Sidmouth town councillors have pontificated on this subject without reaching a practical solution. At the present time, there are 11reserved spaces in the car park, of which I have the use of one, the cost of which is now �265.20, inclusive of VAT, per year.

This means that EDDC has an income of �2,431 from the rent paid. I ask have any of the councillors investigated the use of the park with the local shopkeepers or the motorist using the car park. I doubt it.

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I have the two suggestions for action that could be taken to ensure that there is fairness to all who use the car park.

The car park could become a Pay & Display Car Park with the first 20 or 30 minutes being free, with subsequent time being paid for at the usual rate. Earlier this year, a town councillor advocated that such a system should be implemented in the Sidmouth town streets. Then why not in this car park, as is the case at St David’s Railway Station, Exeter? This would ensure that motorists who abuse the parking regulations would have to pay or receive a penalty ticket.

My second suggestion is more controversial. Recently I have visited West Wales and in one seaside area they do not have street parking wardens and motorist ignore the single and double yellow line markings. In the event that they do cause an obstruction, the Police issue Penalty tickets and, if required, remove the vehicle concerned. Do the residents of East Devon want this to happen?

I rest my case.

David E. Ambrose

88 Temple Street, Sidmouth