District council wants to hear what the East Devon local community thinks about a review of off-street public pay and display car parking fees

East Devon District Council is considering reviewing the charges it makes in some of its off-street public pay and display car parks, as well as to its car park permits. The council has put some proposals forward and is now keen to hear what the local community think of these changes through its consultation, which runs until Friday 1 June 2018.

Anyone interested in learning more about the changes and who wants to have their say, should visit the car park review consultation pages on the East Devon website.

.Alternatively, anyone who would like a paper copy of the consultation posted to them, or who needs the consultation in another format, then please call the council on 01395 517569.

This consultation is specifically about the 46 district-wide council owned off-street public pay and display car parks, which contain 5,106 spaces. It doesn’t include any parking spaces that are on the side of a road, even those that have to be paid for, as these spaces are the responsibility of Devon County Council and not East Devon.

The proposed changes

East Devon is proposing that charges in the 41 off street pay and display car parks where customers pay 50p per half hour and £1 per hour, stay the same as they have been since 2010, and don’t go up.

The other proposals are:

•            Bringing pay and display charges in the five much cheaper East Devon car parks in line with the rest.

•            Changing the structure and cost of car park permits.

•            Changing the amount of reserved car parking in Temple Street, Sidmouth.

•            Offering some discounted or even free car parking to certain groups of Exmouth Pavilion users.

•            Bringing in car park charges in Phear Park, Exmouth, to cover the costs of preventing inconsiderate parking on the grass and pathways in the park.

•            Reserving some spaces in East Devon’s Sidford car park for nearby residents.

 

There are four main reasons why the council is reviewing its car parks:

1. A great many more people want to park in some of East Devon’s car parks than there are spaces available, making it difficult to find a space. The council wants to free up capacity in some of its car parks so more people will have a chance to park where and when they want to.

2. To make it fairer. For historical reasons, some of the council’s car parks cost less to park in than others, just because that’s the way it’s always been.

3.  To simplify charges and permits. Currently the different levels of charges in the council’s pay and display car parks, and the variety of different parking permits can be confusing.

4.  They also need to make improvements to car parks and the changes proposed would help afford the following improvements:

  • Car park users are increasingly using contactless payment cards to pay for their parking, rather than cash. It costs money to be able to provide car park machines that can accept contactless bankcard payments.
  • A number of the parking machines are in a poor condition and need replacing soon.
  • Car park users have also started to ask for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle charging points.

Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said:

I’m proud that for the seventh year running we aren’t proposing to increase charges in 41 of our 46 car parks, when so many other councils are increasing their parking fees. We are listening to all our residents and businesses, who have clearly told us that they don’t want any price increases to the general car parking charge and would rather see other options being considered instead. I would encourage everyone to have a look at our proposals to see what we are looking to change and to have their say, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with the proposed changes.