No parking spaces in Exmouth... Why not concrete over the sea?

Parking spaces are at a premium across Exmouth. It's often nose to tail on the sidestreets - such as Montpellier Road - near the town centre. Photo: Paul Strange. Parking spaces are at a premium across Exmouth. It's often nose to tail on the sidestreets - such as Montpellier Road - near the town centre. Photo: Paul Strange.

Thursday, March 20, 2014
3:30 PM

EXMOUTH is in a right jam when it comes to car parking, with no easy solution in sight.

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That’s the message that’s emerging as letters, emails and Facebook posts drive home your views, following our recent investigation into the town’s car parking 
conundrums,

Across Exmouth, and especially in the town centre, nearly everyone is scrabbling for parking spaces.

It is particularly bad overnight and at weekends, with cars regularly parking on double yellow lines, causing problems on some side streets and potentially affecting emergency vehicle access.

So what can be done?

In her letter in last week’s Journal, Peggy Horn of Halsdon Road said that the town’s car parking charges were the key issue.

“That’s the problem – always was and always will be,” she wrote.

Many Journal readers commenting via our Facebook page agreed.

“If the car parking fees were drastically reduced, people would use them rather than park around the houses,” said Helen Delamer. “Have a few more free half-hour spaces scattered around for shoppers too.”

Sarah Jane Olmez also suggested lower car parking fees for shoppers, while Chris Vyse and Colin Chard went further. Both proposed completely free parking in all the town’s car parks.

Sam Reed disagreed.

“Free parking is a delusional resolve!” he said. “All it will encourage is hordes of old people with no time restraints to spend hours thumbing their way around rails of dusty, smelly cardigans in charity shops. Car parks will become stagnant, with those wishing to pop into town for a serious purchase opting to go online or to Tesco.”

Building an additional car park – possibly a multi-storey – had some support, although there was debate over where it could be sited.

Mandy Stannard and Bill Campbell thought the land around the Jewson store on Fore Street could be ideal.

Simon Hughes suggested the land off Albion Hill, where the old gasometer was located, while Dannii Chorley thought it could be the current Imperial Road car park “but three-storeys high”.

“Instead of building a supermarket on the rugby ground, build a long-stay car park,” said Oliver Bainbridge, the manager of Exmouth’s Grapevine pub.

Baz Miller was more radical still.

“Flatten the Magnolia Centre and build a pleasant new retail area with single-storey rooftop parking for shoppers,” he said.

Mr K Pearcey addressed the Colony’s parking issues in a letter to the Journal, published last week, with an idea that could work across the town.

“Maybe we can have an allocated spot outside our houses – a paid yearly amount – and those that don’t want to can have a visitor area,” he wrote.

Other suggestions on Facebook included the following from Jason Wright.

“Have traffic enforcement that issues spot fines. Don’t let disabled badge owners park anywhere they please. Then spend the revenue on resurfacing and free car parks.”

Paul Worsley wanted Domino’s Pizza vehicles to “stop parking where they want”, while Ian Woolger took a greener approach. “Ride pushbikes and save the planet!”

If none of these options worked, Neil Harris had a drastic solution. “Concrete over the sea,” he said.

n What’s your view? Email Exmouth.letters@archant.co.uk or post on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/exmouth.journal

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