Exmouth councillors call for action on carer parking fines

PUBLISHED: 09:29 05 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:41 05 October 2017

Archant

New rules to stop carers being fined when visiting sick and elderly people in Exmouth have been backed by councillors.

At this week’s Exmouth Town Council meeting, members were told carers were being fined, having been forced to park on double or single yellow lines when visiting people in homes with no visitor parking and a lack of street parking nearby.

Councillor Mark Williamson said the issue was first raised by a resident, who said three out of four carers who regularly visited the block of flats where she lived had been fined.

Cllr Williamson added that since the Journal first reported on the issue three weeks ago, six more carers had contacted him to say they had been fined in the past 12 months.

Cllr Williamson said he had been told carers were having to pay the £40 fines from their own wages.

He said: “What we need is a motion from this council to register our concern.

“I want this to be seen as a town that cares for carers, because when we think what these people do and how valued their work is, the last thing we need is a regulation that penalises them for just doing their jobs.”

Councillors voted for a motion calling for carers, and also Macmillan, Hospiscare, and Marie Curie nurses, to get the same allowance as blue badge holders to park on yellow lines, away from junctions, for short periods.

Currently carers can get permits to park in street pay and display bays, residents parking bays, or limited waiting bays, however, none of these apply to residential areas in Exmouth.

Cllr Williamson said: “There are many roads where it is extremely difficult, and in many places impossible, to find unrestricted parking. The exemptions that are allowed are simply not relevant to Exmouth.”

Councillor Pauline Stott said: “As a carer myself for 30 years, I know how difficult it is in Exmouth to park. Places like Victoria Road and St Andrew’s Road, in the summer, it is impossible.”

The motion calls for Devon County Council to review the rules, and Exmouth county councillors have offered support.

Town and county councillor Richard Scott warned that it would probably take 12 to 18 months for rules to change, but said councillors would work hard to achieve a solution.

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