Public to be consulted on Exmouth parking price hike

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 October 2019

Imperial Road car park. Ref exe 39 19TI 1647. Picture: Terry Ife

Imperial Road car park. Ref exe 39 19TI 1647. Picture: Terry Ife

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Residents are set to have their say on possible price hikes in some of Exmouth's busiest car parks.

At its meeting on Wednesday (October 2) East Devon District Council's (EDDC) cabinet agreed to consult residents on a potential price increase at the town's Imperial Road, London Inn and Queen's Drive car parks.

The council had proposed price rises from £1 to £1.50 but will be consulting the public on charging £1.20 instead.

EDDC says the proposals will help raise between £300,000 and £400,000 and encourage people to use less popular car parks.

District councillor Paul Millar said the price increase will impact on high street businesses.

He said: "I feel like this hits the least well off and also shouldn't we be promoting local businesses?

"It's not just about the assets, we need to look at the effect on the high street, and Exmouth town centre is already in desperate need of regeneration.

"I think we should be doing the opposite, I think we should be reducing the cost of parking in the less popular car parks to encourage more people to use them."

Cllr Millar said the increase in the Imperial Road car park will impact users of LED's Exmouth Leisure Centre.

He said: "The sports centre is situated in that car park and it is, for many residents who live on the outskirts of Exmouth, their only opportunity to come down to exercise or take their kids swimming.

"That is one of the only viable places to park for families."

EDDC service lead Andrew Ennis said: "We have made special arrangements with the centre and we do offer a really cheap LED permit which people can buy at the same time as their membership.

"The demand on that car park is high and the decision to look at the fees is a reasonable one."

Cllr Steve Gazzard said: "These suggestions for Exmouth are ill thought out and fool hardy and there no doubt in my mind it will have an effect on local businesses in the town.

"At this moment in time, many businesses in Exmouth are struggling."

The consultation will also include a proposal to introduce pay-and-display parking in the free Jarvis Close car park.

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