A permanent solution to Lympstone’s perennial parking problems is being sought.

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The first issue is that the 84-space Underhill Crescent carpark, the only one in Lympstone, is always full - often by drivers who do not pay.

And residents who have brought district council permits cannot park.

Graham Martin of Underhill said: “I’ve had a permit for years, but know, even when it is not peak season, I can’t park.

“Many people don’t even pay because they know that aren’t any parking patrols.”

The second problem is that tradesmen and visitors often park in an around Underhill, Underhill Crescent and Underhill Close, making it difficult for elderly residents who need to use their cars.

Resident Diana Letcher said: “We’re told we can’t have double yellow lines because it is a cul-de-sac.

“The police have been very good, but everytime they get here, it’s too late.

“Vans are left here sometimes for weeks on end, while others resent paying for a carpark so they park here.”

Resident Jo Dennison added: “People leave their cars to use to use the cyclepath at weekends.

“A van left overnight blocked my drive – my husband is quite ill and getting to hospital would have been very difficult.”

PCSO Sarah Trayhurn said she can issue fines of up to £30 for obstruction:

“If a car is taxed and insured there is little we can do. But if people physically cannot get into their drives, that is an offence.”

A district council spokesman said they did patrol Lympstone, but were often needed in busier towns.

He added: “However, as a result of this enquiry we would be willing to step up patrols but would request additional intelligence to enable us to target our limited resources to times of the day and days of the week when we would be most effective.”

Deputy parish council chairman Richard Eastley said one of the carpark’s problems was that there were more permits than spaces.

He said if the parish council did take on the carpark he would support a policy of one permit per household.

He added: “But how would we police it? We can’t issue fines.”

Cllr Eastley said they needed another car park: “There isn’t adequate land; what is available is either in private ownership or on a flood plain.

“And how do you pay for it? Not everybody is going to want to subside other people’s parking problems through a rise in the precept.

“The only answer at the moment is to ask people to park with consideration and not to treat any space as their permanent parking space.”

If a vehicle is causing an obstruction call the police on 101. To suggest when parking patrols should occur call the district council on: 01395 516551 or e-mail parkingservices@eastdevon.gov.uk

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