Sidmouth and Ottery drivers face pay park shock
SIDMOUTH and Ottery St Mary drivers could have to fork out for on-street parking after highways bosses decided to introduce pay and display machines in the region s coastal and market towns.
SIDMOUTH and Ottery St Mary drivers could have to fork out for on-street parking after highways bosses decided to introduce pay and display machines in the region's coastal and market towns.
Devon County Council's (DCC) cabinet has agreed the measure, to be rolled out over the next four years, in a move which could see Sidmouth's town centre 'limited waiting bays' become a thing of the past.
Limited waiting bays in the High Street and other areas throughout the town such as All Saints Road, allow residents and visitors to park for free for a certain amount of time.
Sidmouth currently has two pay and display machines, with Peak Hill an example.
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County Councillor Stuart Hughes said that no decisions have been made as to where potential parking meters may go in the town, but hopes the scheme will encourage shoppers to use Sidmouth's car parks and curb people driving around "looking for an elusive parking space."
In a report from the DCC's executive director of environment, economy and culture, it is said limited waiting bays are a "time consuming and extremely inefficient use of civil enforcement officer's (CEO) time", and are "the most difficult restriction to effectively enforce."
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The report states: "In order to enforce this a CEO must visit the parking bay twice, the first time to record details of each vehicle in the bay, including the position of tyre valves, the second time after the permitted period to establish that the vehicle has stayed too long and check the tyre valves again, to prove that the vehicle has not moved and come back to the same bay.
"Because of the difficulty to enforce, limited waiting time is generally the most abused parking restriction, often within key locations in the town, which equates to poor turnover of available space and therefore poor accessibility to facilities within the town."
It is claimed the introduction of pay and display machines will allow for "one stop enforcement" and additional funds attained "could be directed to local transport improvements".
Ottery county councillor Roger Giles feels possible on-street pay and display machines in both towns won't become a reality for several years.
He said: "Each town will be dealt with on an individual basis and there will need to be a public consultation. They will look at the big places like Sidmouth and Honiton first.
"I suspect it will be a particularly unpopular idea.