Parking problems

I have lived in Exmouth all my life, barring a brief sojourn to university. As a town centre resident, I am utterly disappointed with the latest goings on.

The Strand development, for instance, while very nice (now it is more or less finished), has led to the loss of a great deal of valuable parking spaces.

This, for someone who needs to park up after a long day at work, has become a nightmare. Regularly, I am forced to drive around for half an hour, after an often long drive, looking for a free space.

So many of the town centre spaces have become time restricted that it is virtually impossible to find a suitable space within a sensible range of my home.

The imposed 30-minute limit is far too restricting and, surely, for visitors to the town who wish to park up on the street, this allows no time to do anything substantial.

The only location I can reasonably park for free is in Chapel Street, but that is increasingly limited and I run the risk of having my car damaged, as it has been several times, by late-night revellers.

The misuse of double yellow lines by many drivers in that area goes unchecked, while I have been ticketed for having my front wheels over the line there!

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In response to Tim Wood’s article ‘Several supermarkets eyeing up Exmouth’, I could not agree more.

For too long, Tesco has had a stranglehold on the town, which desperately needs to be broken. If variety is the spice of life, Exmouth is turning out to be an incredibly bland place.

I do wonder whether the local councillors ever look around town and ask themselves, ‘why are these shops vacant?’

The former Toymaster shop has been empty for longer than I can remember and that is a huge shame.

What is missing from the town to entice business here?

We live in an incredibly attractive part of the world, yet business struggles. I appreciate we live in increasingly difficult financial times, but, surely, more can be done to support small business ventures in the area.

The Journal’s cover story concerning the Christmas lights is yet another example of council blunders. Blaming the local businesses for not supporting the lights is an incredibly stupid move.

Why is the council not requesting support from the ‘big retailers’ in the town, which ought to have sections in the company policies about supporting the local communities and social responsibilities?

Why should the small businesses, with limited budgets, be asked to stump up cash, when companies like Tesco have community/charity budgets set aside for local ventures?

It probably sounds as if I have been wearing my cynical hat too much, far from it.

Exmouth is in a beautiful part of the world and has a lot going for it.

I certainly do not plan on abandoning it any time soon, but it does seem that a number of bad decisions are/have been made that, far from encouraging people to embrace the town, actually has the effect of turning them away.

Matt Hunter

15 Rolle Street, Exmouth.

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