Outcry prompts parking debate in Lympstone

PUBLISHED: 02:01 09 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:08 10 June 2010

PARKING charges at EDDC controlled car parks in Lympstone could undergo a wholesale review following a slew of complaints from drivers. At East Devon District Council's executive board meeting on Wednesday, councillors were to debate the newly-introduced

PARKING charges at EDDC controlled car parks in Lympstone could undergo a wholesale review following a slew of complaints from drivers.At East Devon District Council's executive board meeting on Wednesday, councillors were to debate the newly-introduced charges for 2008/2009 - to determine if the complaints are justified and a change of policy is needed.The changes, introduced this year, were mostly increases to keep pace with inflation - the hourly charge in Lympstone, Sidford and Colyton was increased to 30p from 25p, while the hourly fee across the district was increased from 80p to 85p.All car park permits were increased by five per cent to the nearest full pound and the hourly rate in three underused car parks - Land of Canaan in Ottery St Mary, Dowell Street in Honiton and Coombe Lane in Axminster - was reduced, in a bid to encourage greater use.The minimum stay charge in all car parks was changed from 20p to 50p, allowing residents to park for a minimum 35 minutes instead of 14. This, the council reasoned, encouraged shoppers to spend more in local shops.Changes were also made to coastal car parks, from 'real time' to an hourly rate - to bring the charges in line with Devon County Council policy.Councillors had to decide whether to continue with the current charging levels, recommend revisions or examine a full financial year's effect of the new charges and include it as part of the annual budget setting process.Andrew Jarrett, EDDC's financial services manager, said: "Over the last six weeks the council has received a number of complaints regarding revisions to the council's car parking charges."Most of these complaints have come from individual residents, but we have also received correspondence from Ottery Town Council and its Chamber of Commerce."As a direct consequence of these complaints, it would seem appropriate to review the overall car parking strategy..."He added that the annual budget for car parking was £2,390,000 for 2008/2009 - and that any revision would alter the council's levels of income.

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