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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
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.”
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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