Controversial parking charge hike put on hold

PUBLISHED: 14:36 02 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:36 02 December 2019

Orchard car park at Seaton. Picture Chris Carson

Orchard car park at Seaton. Picture Chris Carson

Archant

Controversial plans to hike charges in some of East Devon's busiest car parks have been officially shelved.

Car parking tariffs were set to rise from £1 to £1.20 per hour in car parks including Lace Walk, in Honiton, and the London Inn car park, in Exmouth.

But the plans had angered councillors and when first discussed 24 councillors spent two hours slamming the proposals during a cabinet meeting.

East Devon District Council cabinet decided to put the proposals out to public consultation but the scrutiny committee called the decision in.

They recommended cabinet to delay the consultation until after a newly-formed task and finish forum had completed a full report.

At a meeting on Wednesday (November 27), cabinet agreed to adopt that recommendation.

A motion had already been agreed by full council that meant car parking strategy decisions would have to be made by the whole council rather than just the cabinet.

Leader of the council, Cllr Ben Ingham, said at last week's meeting that they accepted the scrutiny committee findings.

Speaking to this title last month, Cllr Ingham said no car parking charges would be implemented until at least April 2021.

As of yet, no target date for when the task and finish forum will finish their work is known.

The car parks that the price rises would have affected were:

- Lace Walk short stay car park in Honiton

- West Street short stay car park in Axminster

- Orchard car park in Seaton, Central car park short stay in Beer

- Rolle Mews car park in Budleigh Salterton

- Ham East, Ham West, Roxburgh and Mill Street in Sidmouth

- The London Inn, Imperial Road and Queen's Drive car parks in Exmouth

Other proposals that would have seen free parking ended in eight car parks, and a night-time parking charge introduced in 12 car parks had already been dropped by the cabinet.

The early introduction of a winter car parking offer in Ottery St Mary, and free parking for coaches in Seaton on a 12-month trial basis were approved.

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