Parking meters to stay says councillor
PUBLISHED: 11:12 31 July 2013 | UPDATED: 11:12 31 July 2013
Controversial parking meters on Budleigh seafront are here to stay, with the town's county councillor saying there is 'no way' highways bosses would remove them.
The meters were the subject of a petition earlier this year, signed by more than 1,400 people, calling for them to be removed, with some businesses fearing they would affect trade.
However, after the latest meeting of the Budleigh Salterton Traffic Group consultation panel, county councillor Christine Channon said the meters would not be going.
She said: “There’s no way Devon County Council will take the meters out, as that’s the policy they have for coastal towns, so they will say they can’t have Budleigh Salterton being an exception.
“If they took them out in Budleigh they would be lobbied from everywhere they put meters in, and it would be a very hard case to prove that they are affecting business in the town.”
An alternative proposal that the maximum stay at the metered bays could be raised from two to three hours will now be investigated by county highways officers, with the change possibly being carried out with a traffic order.
Petition co-organiser Angela Yarwood, who attended the traffic group meeting as an observer, said: “I’m just really frustrated. I’m really disappointed our council isn’t supporting us. At this stage I think the best we can hope for is that it goes back to being seasonal and they take away the 24 hours, but the only thing that’s progressing is the maximum stay. They are just not considering other things.”
Mrs Yarwood says the council has unfairly dismissed statistics compiled for the use of the meters during the winter months, and unfairly removed the man who compiled them, Stuart Yerrell, from the traffic group, rejecting Cllr Channon’s assertion that Mr Yerrell had been removed as he no longer represented the Otter Valley Association.
Mrs Yarwood was due to raise her concerns with East Devon MP Hugo Swire yesterday.