Seafront parking meters for Budleigh

Budleigh Salterton’s town centre looks set to be saved from pay-and-display parking meters - while seafront parkers face charges.

Devon County Council this week said discussions were in the pipeline with the town council over plans to install meters along Coastguard Hill and Marine Parade.

The council said it was not proposing any changes to Budleigh’s High Street.

A spokesman said: “The pay and display Traffic Regulation Order advertised for the section on Coastguard Hill and Marine Parade was initially supported by Budleigh town council last year.

“We have contacted the town council and hope to attend its next meeting to listen to local people and gauge their views on this proposed section of pay and display.”

The town council yesterday denied any such talks were imminent, saying the only recent correspondence about parking meters for Budleigh had been between county councillor Christine Channon and the head of highways.

Budleigh Salterton Town Council clerk Jo Vanstone said the county council’s comments needed clarifying because no formal approach had been made or meeting scheduled.

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Mrs Vanstone said: “There appears to be a little bit of confusion and a lack of information forthcoming. It is possible that the letter is in the post but, to date, we haven’t had a formal approach from the county to discuss this.”

Last autumn, the town council welcomed seafront parking charges to deter overnight campervans.

The members raised concerns over High Street pay-and-display machines, believing them a deterrent towards shoppers.

District councillor and Budleigh trader Steve Hall this week welcomed the county council’s proposal to avoid town centre charges.

He said: “I would prefer not to see any parking meters in Budleigh Salterton, anywhere in the town - and definitely not in the High Street.

“As my fellow traders would say, it would an inconvenience for shoppers and a deterrent.”

When the county council first announced its intention to implement parking charges in seaside towns at the end of 2010, Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said public consultation was paramount.

He said: “These proposals aren’t a case of one size fits all. I’ve always been very clear that I want to work with, and listen to, communities in order to take on board their views and concerns.”

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