Car park charging plans 'shortsighted'

PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:00 09 February 2018

Ref Chris Abbott outside his shop in Ottery St Mary. sho 06 18TI 7226. Picture: Terry Ife

Ref Chris Abbott outside his shop in Ottery St Mary. sho 06 18TI 7226. Picture: Terry Ife

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Proposals to double car parking charges in Canaan Way car park have been slammed by business owners who say if approved, it would be a 'kick in the teeth' to the town.

Rosalind Browne in her shop in Ottery St Mary. Ref sho 06 18TI 7230. Picture: Terry IfeRosalind Browne in her shop in Ottery St Mary. Ref sho 06 18TI 7230. Picture: Terry Ife

East Devon District Council cabinet met on Wednesday to review tariffs and permit parking across the district including changes to car parks across the district.

The prices in Canaan Way in Ottery would be brought into line with the council’s standard long stay tariff of £1 per hour, £3 for 24 hours, applying 24 hours a day Monday to Saturday.

Chris Abbott, of Abbotts DIY, said it was ‘short sighted’ of the council to increase the prices to the same as tourist towns like Sidmouth and Exmouth.

Mr Abbott said: “It’s not good really, I do not see how East Devon can do a blanket car parking charge. Ottery is very, very different to places like Sidmouth.

Canaan Way car park, Ottery. Ref sho 06 18TI 7163. Picture: Terry IfeCanaan Way car park, Ottery. Ref sho 06 18TI 7163. Picture: Terry Ife

“We have to fight for every customer to retain them in the town. By doing what they are doing, for a town of our size it feels a bit of a kick in the teeth. From a shop point of view it’s very short-sighted of EDDC, using the car park as a cash cow.”

He added it would be ‘fantastic’ if the town’s business forum, which was set up after the closure of the chamber of commerce, would write a letter if the proposals headed to public consultation.

Ros Browne, of Roberts, said: “People are going to go into Sainsbury car park. They should be going the other way with the Land of Canaan and do something to encourage people to use it. There is already a problem with parking in the town. It’s a really bad idea.”

A council spokeswoman said the proposed parking fee adjustment would allow it to provide the best possible service to car park users and additional revenue would be reinvested into electric plug-in charge points or new ticket machines.

Councillor Tom Wright, portfolio holder for the environment, said: “In this review we are being careful to try to balance the needs of our residents alongside the demand for parking from visitors and to consider the impact of any changes on our local businesses.

“However, we do have a number of car parks with significantly lower tariffs and these needs to be reviewed due to increasing demand and a limited supply of parking availability.”

Read how Sidmouth business leaders reacted to the proposals

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