Sidmouth on-street parking meter possibility

SIDMOUTH could soon have on-street parking meters, like those up Peak Hill, to encourage shoppers to use its car parks.

SIDMOUTH could soon have on-street parking meters, like those up Peak Hill, to encourage shoppers to use its car parks.

Town councils in nine Devon towns, including Sidmouth, will be asked to identify potential Pay and Display sites after Devon County Council's Cabinet agreed a proposal by Councillor Stuart Hughes (Sidmouth, Sidford) to open discussions.

At its July meeting the county cabinet received a report on the first year of operating civil parking enforcement officers in partnership with East Devon District Council.

East Devon's 10 CEO's issued 4,737 tickets, gaining �121,660 in revenue from penalties.

The challenge for DCC, says the report, is "to bring the overall service up to a consistent standard that is sustainable over the following four years."

It funds six of East Devon's CEOs and it is recommended to increase this to eight as soon as practicable, to enable evening cover when required.

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There are 200 pay and display machines in the county, with most in Exeter (105), 22 in Exmouth and two in Sidmouth.

Other towns, such as Teignmouth, Totnes and Dawlish have 13-14 each.

DCC's goal over the next four years is to implement pay and display schemes in appropriate locations, including Sidmouth.

Payment for on-street parking would not be less than car park charges and would encourage people to stop driving around the town, "looking for an elusive parking space" and use car parks instead.

Mr Hughes did not want to pre-empt where pay and display meters might go but said: "One might be the Esplanade where cars can park 24 hours, seven days a week, 12 months of the year without moving because there is no restriction.

"It must be one of the only coastal towns with no restriction."

He added: "I would have thought something will be going before the town council in the not too distant future.