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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Car parking charge rises are ‘unpopular and are to the detriment of our town centre economies’

Councils are desperate to raise revenues but town centres are extremely worried about driving out shoppers:


Sidmouth business leaders warn of ‘adverse effect’ of increasing parking charges

PUBLISHED: 09:10 09 February 2018



Church Street car park, Sidford. Ref shs 06 18TI 7179. Picture: Terry Ife


The chamber of commerce chairman has said changes to car parks in the Sid Valley are ‘bound to have an adverse effect’ on town traders.



Temple Street car park, Sidmouth. Ref shs 06 18TI 7174. Picture: Terry Ife
East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) cabinet met on Wednesday to review tariffs and permit parking across the district.
Under the proposals, car parks including Church Street in Sidford would be brought into line with the council’s standard long-stay tariff of £1 per hour and £3 for 24 hours, applying 24 hours a day from Monday to Saturday.
David Wheaton, chairman of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, said: “The council hopes to raise an extra £30,000 as a result of their changes to car parking charges in East Devon. However, the danger is that, if you put up charges too much, you could end up bringing in less revenue if people decide to go elsewhere or try to park in residential side streets instead.
“The intention is to more than double the charges. Currently the charge is 20p per half-hour and 40p per hour. The council wishes to raise this to 50pence per half hour and £1 per hour. This is bound to have an adverse impact on businesses in Sidford.”
The council also proposes to increase the number of ‘reserved’ spaces in Temple Street, Sidmouth. Currently the car park has 31 spaces, 12 of which are ‘reserved’. The council wants to create another eight such bays to meet demand and leave 11 spots for visitors. Mr Wheaton added: “Clearly, this will increase the revenue return for the council. It is not going to help businesses in Temple Street.”
An EDDC spokeswoman said the proposed parking fee adjustment would allow the authority to provide the best possible service to car park users and additional revue would be reinvested into electric plug-in charge points or new ticket machines.
There are also proposals to change the parking permit structure across the district, which have been called ‘unfair and financially unsustainable’ by critics.
It is also proposed town and area permits are replaced with a range of single town or village permits, which will be priced according to parking availability or demand.
A permit for Sidmouth, Honiton, Axminster, Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Lympstone, Beer and Seaton will still cost the current price of £134, but would only be valid in one specific town.

Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce raises concerns over EDDC parking proposals | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald


Car parking charge rises are ‘unpopular and are to the detriment of our town centre economies’

East Devon District Council will not increase car parking charges, but Exeter City Council have chosen to massively increase car parking prices in the city


Daniel Clark


13:09, 31 JAN 2018

REACTION TO EXETER'S CAR PARKING COST INCREASE

No increase in car parking charges in East Devon are being planned for the upcoming year – as the council says price increase are ‘unpopular and are to the detriment of our town centre economies’.

As part of budget proposals that East Devon District Council have for the upcoming year, the headline rate of 50p per half hour and £1 per hour in most car parks will remain unchanged.

The tariff review says: “The tariff could be reviewed now, but there are no sound operational reasons for doing so at present and experience from previous changes suggests that our customers react in a negative way to price increases and instead of increasing their spend, they may choose to spend the same amount of money and buy less time to the detriment of our town centre economies.”


READ MORE
Massive hike in car parking charges in Exeter - here's how you will be affected


The choice not raise car parking charges is in stark contrast to Exeter City Council, who have agreed a massive increase in car parking charges. The one-hour fee at the priciest car parks - the Guildhall, Mary Arches and John Lewis – will rise from £2.20 to £3 from April – in what would represent a 50 per cent increase in a single year, and all day charges would increase from £12 to £15 in Guildhall, Mary Arches, John Lewis car parks, from £10 to £12 for zone one car parks and £6 to £10 for zone two car parks.


Teignbridge District Council is also planning to increase car parking fees for the upcoming financial year, with an increase of 10p is proposed for all council run car parks and is included as part of the council’s proposed budget for the upcoming financial year.



Triangle Car Park. Exeter GVs, Saturday, January 27, 2018. Credit: Bridget Batchelor Photograhy

Agenda papers ahead of next week’s East Devon District Council cabinet meeting say: “Our headline rate of 50p per half hour and £1 per hour in most of our busy and popular car parks will remain unchanged. This could be reviewed now, but there are no sound operational reasons for doing so at present and experience from previous changes suggests that our customers react in a negative way to price increases and instead of increasing their spend, they may choose to spend the same amount of money and buy less time to the detriment of our town centre economies.


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“The proposed changes will lead to a simpler charging regime where the tariff for all of our pay and display car parks is just £1 per hour. In the majority of cases this will be the eighth consecutive year in which we have not recommended an increase but there are five car parks where we are proposing that a historically less expensive tariff should now increase to £1 per hour.”



An East Devon District Council car park

The five car parks are Underhill in Lympstone, Canaan Way, Ottery St Mary, Church Street, Sidford, Coombe Lane, Axminster and Dolphin Street, Colyton.

The reports says: “We have had a number of car parks with significantly less expensive tariffs, typically 20p for half an hour and anything from £1.50 to £4 for a whole day. We gave Members a warning as long ago as 2013 that we would review these tariffs and with current budgetary pressures (and in a least one case (Underhill car park in Lympstone), massive over demand and under supply of parking availability), the time is now right for a review.”



An East Devon District Council car park

The council will consult the public on the following new tariffs:

• Underhill Lympstone – to have our standard coastal long stay – (already popular with visitors) it is 50p minimum, £1 per hour, maximum £6 for 24 hours (reducing to £3 from November to March inclusive which in fact effectively reduces to £2 all day via our successful winter offer), charges apply 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

• Canaan Way, Ottery St Mary, Church Street, Sidford, Coombe Lane, Axminster and Dolphin Street, Colyton – all to have our standard inland long stay tariff – 50p minimum, £1 per hour, maximum £3 for 24 hours, charges apply 24 hours per day, Monday to Saturday only.
East Devon District Council are also proposing to change the “special residents permits” scheme that they currently operate.

They propose to discontinue our £40 per year resident permit scheme that currently exists in Colyton, Exmouth and Lympstone, as they are ‘uneconomic to maintain and the address qualification means it is bureaucratic to administrate’.

Instead they will be replaced with a range of single town or village permits more intelligently priced according to parking availability and demand:

A permit for any one of Sidmouth, Honiton, Axminster, Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Lympstone, Beer or Seaton will still cost £134 per year but the permit will be valid in only one of these towns or villages. Permits for Colyton and Ottery St Mary will be available at a reduced rate of £85 per year to reflect lower demand and our more modest parking offer in these towns.

The cabinet meets on Wednesday, February 7, where they are expected to give the seal of approval to the plans.


Car parking charge rises are ‘unpopular and are to the detriment of our town centre economies’ - Devon Live
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