December 13 2013 Latest news:
Parking restrictions on Imperial Road have now changed prohibiting cars from parking in the bay which is now for the use of coaches. Drivers which have used the spaces for years and unoblivious to the changes have received Penalty Notices. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 5050-30-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Motorists will be given a ‘period of grace’ and not ticketed in the short term if they park on the new bus-only spaces in Imperial Road.
The spaces are popular with residents who use the Haldon House Surgery, the Imperial Medical Practice as well as Rowlands Pharmacy.
But they were removed by Devon highways chiefs earlier this month and now designated for the exclusive use of buses.
However, the change has led to confusion as initially only the small sign was changed and some motorist say they have been ticketed.
The tiny sign had gone largely unnoticed by drivers who were used to parking there and many have continued to use the spaces.
So the county council added the words ‘buses’ to the area – but are unable to use the words ‘buses only’ without a Department of Transport permit and said that a penalty fares scheme would not be in force immediately.
The change of use follows the loss of other ‘free’ parking spaces outside Kentucky Fried Chicken two years ago.
That parking area was partially turned into a taxi rank following the redevelopment of the Strand.
The Journal understands that to ensure enough space was available for buses and coaches the whole bay had to be changed.
The restriction will be in force round the clock to ensure that other vehicles cannot stay overnight and then block the bay in the morning for coaches.
One council officer said: “I think initially it may take some time before coach drivers are aware it is available for them to use so it may seem quiet at the moment but it should pick up. But of course we will monitor the situation.”
A spokesman for Devon County Council explained that the change had been planned since the improvements for the Strand, which is no longer suitable to accommodate larger vehicles.
He said: “The parking changes have been planned for some time, and have been advertised locally, including in the local paper.
“As with any new scheme though, we’re allowing some time for people to become accustomed to the change, and enforcement officers are currently warning and informing vehicle owners of the new restrictions, rather than issuing Penalty Charge Notices.”