‘Pay and display’ for Sidmouth town-centre?

TRADERS have slammed proposals to install parking meters throughout Sidmouth’s town-centre.

TRADERS have slammed proposals to install parking meters throughout Sidmouth’s town-centre.

Highways chiefs have revealed they are looking to implement ‘pay and display’ machines for time-restricted spaces in High Street, Fore Street, Church Street and Fortescue.

They have promised The Esplanade isn’t included in plans, which will see parking free for 30 minutes or 60pence per hour in affected areas.

Business leaders this week voiced concern the “stealth tax” will hammer the local economy and be an “unsightly” intrusion in a conservation area.

At a meeting of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce’s executive committee on Tuesday, members unanimously agreed to object to proposals.

Devon County Council (DCC) will launch a public consultation in the coming weeks and claims the move will make little difference, make civil parking enforcement officers’ jobs easier, and that excess cash raised will boost supported bus services.

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Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “DCC’s cabinet resolved last month to progress the introduction of pay and display in market and coastal towns across Devon as soon as practicable.

“Schemes will typically transfer existing areas of limited waiting to pay and display, largely mirroring existing hours of operation and time restrictions, in core areas.

“In recognition of the current economic circumstances, consideration will also be given to introducing new town-centre pay and display schemes on the basis of free parking for the first 30 minutes.”

l BUSINESS leaders say the move will “damage town-centre trade unfairly”. Turn to page 3.

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