All change for East Devon car parks
PARKING charges across East Devon could undergo a wholesale review following a slew of complaints from drivers, Ottery Town Council and the town's Chamber of Commerce. At EDDC's Executive Board Meeting on Wednesday, councillors will debate the newly-intr
PARKING charges across East Devon could undergo a wholesale review following a slew of complaints from drivers, Ottery Town Council and the town's Chamber of Commerce.At EDDC's Executive Board Meeting on Wednesday, councillors will debate the newly-introduced charges for 2008/2009 - to determine if the complaints are justified and a change of policy is needed.The changes, introduced this year, were mostly increased to keep pace with inflation - the hourly fee was increased from 80p to 85p, all car park permits increased by five per cent to the nearest full pound and the hourly charge in Sidford, Colyton and Lympstone increased to 30p from 25p.Other changes included the reduction of the hourly rate in three underused car parks - Land of Canaan in Ottery St Mary, Dowell Street in Honiton and Coombe Lane in Axminster - in a bid to encourage greater use.In addition the minimum stay charge in all car parks was changed from 20p to 50p, allowing residents to park for a minimum 35 minutes instead of 14. This, the council reasoned, to encourage shoppers to spend more in local shops.Changes were also made to coastal car parks, from 'real time' to an hourly rate - to bring the charges in line with Devon County Council policy.Councillors will have to decide whether to continue with the current charging levels, recommend revisions to the charges or examine a full financial year's effect of the new charges - and postpone any decision until November and include it as part of the annual budget setting process.Andrew Jarrett, EDDC's financial services manager said: "Over the last six weeks the council has received a number of complaints regarding revisions to the Council's car parking charges."Most of these complaints have come from individual residents, but we have also have received correspondence from Ottery Town Council and its Chamber of Commerce."As a direct consequence of these complaints it would seem appropriate to review the overall car parking strategy..."He added that the annual budget for car parking was £2,390,000 for 2008/2009 - and that any revision would alter the council's levels of income.