It follows on the back of a 2019 consultation, which found that residents wanted more short-stay parking to be available. In response to this, the new proposals aim to encourage vehicle turnover to give visitors and shoppers better access to parking. It is anticipated this will, in turn, improve the vibrancy of towns. This improved turnover would be achieved through an increase in the all-day parking tariff.
Plans to implement the 2019 consultation were put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020. Now the hope is to introduce the changes before the main holiday season begins.
Lead Member for Communities Cllr Terry Pearce, who oversees the authority's car parks in West Devon towns, said: "It has become evident in the last couple of years that our West Devon towns have limited car parking availability. We need to take action to deal with the growing number of visitors and also the extra residents due to the ongoing residential development in all of our towns, which is required under central Government legislation.
"If all Council car parks became free, it would need a 22 per cent increase in council tax on every residential property in West Devon to cover lost revenue. I strongly believe that the Council provides realistic and reasonable parking charges, even taking into account the proposed increase in the all-day charge and this will support the retail trading core of our towns. I urge local people to take part in the consultation and back these proposals."
The new parking consultation is now live and will close on Thursday 11 February 2021.
You can take part in the consultation and find out more at: westdevon.gov.uk/parking-consultation.