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Elizabeth Hubbick of the Topsham Community Association presents the Topsham parking petition to county councillor Andrew Leadbetter and city councillor Margaret Baldwin.

Parking petition handed over

Sunday, January 27, 2013
9.00 AM

A petition of more than 2,000 signatures calling for improved parking arrangements in Topsham has been presented to local councillors.

The Topsham Community Association, which organised the petition, has presented it to Topsham city councillor Margaret Baldwin, and county councillor Andrew Leadbetter.

Following the handover, the councillors held a meeting with the association to discuss the way forward.

Topsham Community Association’s Elizabeth Hubbick said: “We felt it was a very positive meeting. We know there won’t be any immediate money to spend, but we’re hoping planning can be done and consultation can be done.

“It’s totally in their hands, but Margaret and Andrew are very supportive of Topsham – we’re not fighting an uphill battle with them.”

The petition calls for the councils to “address, as a matter of urgency, the parking issues in Topsham, by creating additional parking spaces and establishing priorities between different users”.

The councillors will now be taking the 2,461-strong petition back to their councils, with Cllr Leadbetter planning to present it to Devon County Council leader John Hart at the council’s next meeting in February.

Cllr Leadbetter said: “It’s a lot of signatures, and it shows there’s a lot of interest in it.

“We had a very good meeting, with some very good ideas, and I will go away and speak with officers and see what the way forward might be.

“We need to get the councils working together, and I will arrange a meeting between Devon County Council and Exeter City Council.

“It’s early days, but the amount of interest shows people’s concerns, and I’ve got to act on that and move forward.”

Cllr Baldwin said: “I am not surprised at the strength of feeling behind this petition.

“I hope that the city council will acknowledge the serious concerns of the residents they serve.

“There are specific local factors in Topsham that have not been considered.

“Residents, businesses and visitors all have to co-exist in a compact geographical area with a street network not designed for vehicles.

“Simply extracting the maximum revenue from the car parks is short-sighted and unhelpful.

“I support the call for the two councils to try and find some solutions to our traffic and parking problems.”