Sunday 26 July 2015

Sidmouth parking issues @ Streetlife

There has been lively discussion at Streetlife on Park & Change/Ride:
Futures Forum: Is it 'Park & Change' or 'Park & Ride'?

And there has been a constructive suggestion made on this blog:
Futures Forum: A Park & Ride route for Sidmouth >>> Knowle Park to Connaught Gardens

Here are a couple more threads around the issue of parking:

Parking fees need to be abolished to benefit town

Local Conversations in Sidmouth
Truly Scrumptious 

I thought I would bring to everyone's attention what happened to Cardigan when their council was unable to collect parking fees. By the way, I am not
inciting vandalism. I have always been of the opinion that during the majority of the year, there should be no parking fees for Sidmouth and parking fees should apply from June to August/September if at all. Cardigan had a boom time as reported in National newspapers because of this. Having difficulty copying and pasting the relevant info but can be found both in the Guardian and the Daily Express for example when Goggled
Perhaps if this were to happen in Sidmouth then the council could do a deal with the traders to help with the financial cost of allowing free parking once it had proved successful?!

Sid C.Gull
The only problem would be the streets would be full of people who work in Sidmouth and they may be there all day.

I heard about Cardigan.

TS...noted your daughter not at St John's today...looking for her 'Polish Cake'...yum yum!  Can't get there often, but my tum missed her!
Sidney M
A solution could be to make one of the car parks in town longer stay ... or 2 hour free parking on the roads, long enough for shopping or a bite too eat.
Real Sidmouthian
You can only have free parking if there is enough parking to start with. Until we grasp the nettle and put more in we'll never have enough. People are lazy. They don't want to walk and most don't want to use a park and ride much as we might like to think they will, they want to drive into the town. So we need more car parking before we can do things such as abolish charges.....trouble is how do we then pay for the new car parking...?! Hmmm!
Truly Scrumptious
Sydney - I think your suggestion is a good one. As to all the car park space being taken up by business owners and workers then having the ability to park free for 2/2.30 hours Max should stop that. This would still give tourists, visitors and residents a chance to shop, dine and have fun in Sidmouth, spending vital money to help Sidmouth becomemore prosperous. Whether this can be achieved by employing people to supervise the car parks or, more prohibitively, employing technology, or a mixture of the two perhaps. It would be interesting to compare Cardigan with Sidmouth in terms of size, population and car parks and see if we can learn something from the experience they have recently enjoyed!
Sidney M
I don't necessarily think it's being lazy, it more about convenience. Walking back up to Manor road laden with shopping, possibly in the rain, is off putting for some.
We all agree that it is a problem, unfortunately no one seems to have a solution we can all agree on, therefore it remains a problem.
Peter S
Just been having a look at the Cardigan (4000 Residents) car parking situation, 4 parking meters were destroyed on the main street, and at the moment the council cannot afford to pay for replacements, so temporarily free parking, not for all of the town just on that street, traders say increase in turnover. They have 5 car parks around the town ranging from £1-2 per hour
Sidmouth main shopping area does not have parking meters so is already free with a time limit to ensure turn over of vehicles.
Of course, we’re all well aware of the arguments for parking restrictions, and nobody more so than the people of Aberystwyth, 40 miles from Cardigan.
Back in 2011, shoppers and shopkeepers there rejoiced when wardens employed by Dyfed-Powys police were laid off, almost a year before their council successors were due to begin.
For 11 months, while the cat was away, the mice played — choking the streets with illegally parked cars, blocking shops’ loading bays and generally causing misery. Things got so bad that a survey found Aberystwyth was the worst place in Britain to find a parking place, with motorists queueing for up to 35 minutes.
Never can the sight of a warden’s uniform have been so welcome as on the summer bank holiday Monday of 2012, when the council’s Civil Parking Enforcement team at last swung into action, ending the anarchy.
Barnacle Bill
Ah the facts - so much more useful than wishful thinking.

Infact there is a need to introduce parking charges along the Esplanade. Currently the poo covered vehicles along there are so obviously choking up the spaces and denying visitors the chance to park and shop.
Sid C.Gull
Totally agree....Barnacle Bill...Seaton and Budleigh Salterton you have parking meters......here you get the same cars that don't move along the prom and Glen Road.  I am very surprised that they can park ALL DAY for free.
Peter S
Of cause there is the idea of the Ham Car Park becoming multi storey, that last time it was seriously looked at the for/ against lobbies were 50/50, this will need to be looked at with the redevelopment of the Port Royal area and the Town Regeneration.
Real Sidmouthian
A one up and one down at Ham, well designed in the right materials would give us nearly three times as much parking and have minimum visual impact. Just get on with it.
Richard E
Ah, parking...

We certainly need more capacity.  The Chamber estimates that we have lost 400 spaces to yellow lines in the last twenty years.   Most of those yellow lines were entirely justifiable, but they have had a severe impact upon business in the town.

Surprisingly, there are plenty of places where parking spaces could be introduced, simply by parking cars at 90 degrees to the road rather than laterally:  Riverside, Coburg Road, perhaps even Lawn Vista ( which would require pinching a little ground from the allotments ).   And car parks such as the Ham and Manor Road could be redesigned to increase the number of spaces.

We can also improve the way we use our car parks:  a shuttle to and from Manor Road in the summer months would almost certainly pay for itself:  the cost would be of the order of £25,000, but it would probably be entirely recouped over a five month period, through an increase in parking income.

And we need a charging regime that seeks to optimize the use of the car parks, rather than maximize the income for EDDC.   The District Council tends to think only of its own needs, rather than those of the people it serves.   A completely new mindset is required at the Knowle.

And we need to recognize parking in East Devon for what it is:  an inefficient tax.   Every parking charge is subject to VAT, so much of the money we collect disappears.

Other solutions might include a shoppers permit, such as operates in West Dorset very successfully.  This costs £16 for six months, and allows local people to park in town centre car parks for two hours each day free of charge.   Or free parking for local residents during the winter months, as happens in Lyme Regis.

Whilst we can have free or cheaper parking, what we cannot have is unrestricted parking, allowing people to park all day and blocking spaces.   So I would agree that free parking all day on the Esplanade, which Ted Pinney insisted upon to help the seafront hotels, should be restricted to, say, two or three hours.   The problem is that the County Council will probably try to introduce parking meters, which we don't want.

And, of course, we need a resolution to the Mill Street disaster, where the car park seems set to remain almost empty throughout the summer period.

The tragedy of Sidmouth's parking problems is that there are inexpensive and obvious solutions available.
Residents should be able to park, workers should park at Manor Rd.
Sidney M
I think for some businesses who have to bring stuff too and from work Manor Road is too far away. Perhaps every business could get one space near their business included in the parking permit. Perhaps charge a bit more for this but then they are guaranteed a space and they don't have to move their car every 3 hours.

Not sure there is the space to fit cars diagonally down Riverside.
Richard E
Sidney M

re: Riverside

I should have explained that this would mean taking space from the old 'boat park', which is semi-derelict at the moment.   As you say, Riverside is very narrow, and in fact the rearrangement I envisage would make it less so.
Most towns and cities have short stay near the shops, slightly higher charge for shoppers with long stay 5/10 min walk and cheaper for workers.
Businesses can drop stuff off then park at Manor Rd.
I think it's a case of what's more important - attracting shoppers or keeping workers happy. No shoppers no need for workers (from shops).
Truly Scrumptious
I just like to acknowledge that I didn't look closely enough at thecomparison between Cardigan and Sidmouth. Workers should be able to park in the off season periods at reduced rates at Manor Park all day - walking each day for 15/20 minutes each way is good for everyone including people who standing their feet all day - and, perhaps a multistorey car park with 2 levels underground and 2 levels above BUT only on the area next to Boots would solve everyone's parking problems but I then pity the people whose homes would overlook it. A multi-view storey needs to be put in a place that doesn't interfere with the beauty of Sidmouth, so not on the Ham please so it blocks views from the children's park or can be overlooked from there and certainly not on the shore line.
Peter S
The 'Ham' has covenants in place, held by the town council basically saying the area is for recreational use, no building allowed.
They have been talking for the past 40 years about a Multi-Storey Car park at the Ham.maybe the next generation will come to a decision.
Pining Lass
No TS, it has been tried by the various councils through the years but held :-)

The land was given by Mr Radford, a solicitor!
John RS
The half hour free street parking in the shopping area is vital for the success of the shops. The limited time guarantees a steady turn over of spaces, so you have a good chance of finding a space as you drive down the High Street. Occasionally, you don't and have to pay, but the present limit means that the majority of the time you can park free for short visits. If street parking times were extended, either free or paid, then you would have a much lower chance of finding a free space for your quick shop and people would reduce their visits to town if they had to pay most of the time. Shops would inevitably suffer reduced turnover.
Paul F
There is plenty of room for additional parking near the front.
It would cost, but...
During the "off season" dig out the Fort field cricket pitch down to road level behind the little arcade, build a single story car park withentrance and exit onto the road and put the cricket field back on top as a "green roof"
Feeling ambitious? Do the croquet field as well, simples...
All it needs is willpower and some investment!
Peter S
Paul F  The big question is not what we want or need, it is where does the money come from, a new multi or underground car park are expensive.

Streetlife | Parking fees need to be abolished to benefit town

See also:
Streetlife | Manor Road Car park
Streetlife | Mill Street car park
Streetlife | Redevelopment of Port Royal

Futures Forum: An alternative to councils simply making money out of parking charges: "mixed development"
Futures Forum: Free winter parking for East Devon? ... The arguments for and against 'free parking'
Futures Forum: An idea for improving Sidmouth: making the town more pedestrian friendly: press report
Futures Forum: Parking in East Devon: where and how much... continued
Futures Forum: "Discount parking for Small Business Saturday"
Futures Forum: Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth: serious incidents at the pinch point at the top of Sidmouth High Street

Parking in Sidmouth - SeeRed


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