Sidmouth business leaders welcome cheaper winter parking

Manor Road Car Park

Manor Road Car Park - Credit: Archant

‘Temporary tariff should be extended to help town’s workforce’

Sidmouth shoppers are set to benefit from cheaper parking in a bid to boost winter trade.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) temporary tariff - enabling motorists to park in its car parks all day, after 10am, for £2 - returned this week and runs until March 31, 2017.

Business leaders have welcomed the ‘substantial and sustained’ concession to support traders during traditionally quieter months, but argue the measures could do more to help the town’s workforce.

A Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce spokesman said: “We have campaigned for many years for a reduction in winter charges in order to help local businesses, so it is very encouraging that EDDC has listened to us and implemented this change.

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“We think that the Manor Road car park should be £2 all day, rather than starting at 10am. This will allow the town’s workforce to park all day in a safe environment.

“We very much welcome these reduced charges, and also the fact that they have been announced earlier in the season so that awareness is raised. Congratulations to the parking team at EDDC for listening to our campaign and responding positively.”

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He added that the cheaper parking – extended by two months this year - is more than compensated for by increased usage, meaning businesses, residents and EDDC all benefit.

Councillor Iain Chubb, EDDC’s portfolio holder for the environment, said: “We want to support our town centres as much as we can through the quieter winter months.

“All the feedback we have received from last year’s parking offer showed that it was a great success.

“It will be interesting to see how the five-month concession affects trade. I’d like to thank all our customers who took advantage of last year’s offer – your custom was a big boost to the local economy.”

EDDC says motorists should note that tickets will not show the expiry time of midnight, but parking officers will be checking that £2 has been paid after 10am, allowing parking for the rest of the day.

The news has become a talking point on the Herald’s Facebook page.

Tanya March posted: “I think something needs to be put in place for workers. We either have to walk a long way or pay for parking, which digs into our daily wages. OK, it brings more people into the town, but think of the employees who serve them.”

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