Honiton: Cost of parking blamed for scourge on estates

PUBLISHED: 10:23 16 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:11 16 June 2010

Bumper to bumper. The scene in Oaklea at 11.30am last Wednesday.

Bumper to bumper. The scene in Oaklea at 11.30am last Wednesday.

IF Devon County Council takes action to halt inconsiderate and potentially dangerous parking on a Honiton estate, will the problem just be shifted further down the road?

IF Devon County Council takes action to halt inconsiderate and potentially dangerous parking on a Honiton estate, will the problem just be shifted further down the road?

That is a question town councillors in Honiton had to ask themselves last week when confronted with a request for a residents' parking permit scheme at Oaklea, off Dowell Street.

The private estate is opposite Lace Walk car park, where spaces in the long stay area are filled by 8.30am and the cost of parking in the larger section is now 85p an hour.

It is just £1.50 to park all day at a car park further down the road in Dowell Street, but it is often empty; deemed, by some, too far a walk to the town centre.

East Devon District Council parking charges are now a real concern in Honiton, where residential estates close to the town centre are being used by shoppers and workers.

The town council is poised to raise the issue with the district authority.

Former mayor Councillor Sally Casson said the cost of parking had displaced vehicles from car parks to residential areas across the town.

"I feel sorry for anybody who has this problem," she said. "If you can't get in and out of your drive, it must be really galling."

Honiton Town Council is to liaise with the emergency services to find out if parking in Oaklea, which regularly breaches the Highway Code, is obstructing access for vehicles on 999 calls.

It is to recommend double yellow lines are painted on both sides of the road at Oaklea - to deter inappropriate parking.

Councillor Vivienne Ash, the mayor, said: "Any restrictions would apply to residents and their visitors. It could push the problem further down the road.

"The county council would be loathe to enter into a residents' parking scheme."

"Something serious needs to be done and quickly," said Councillor J Ayres.

Oaklea resident Lynn Millman said: "Commuters seem to think Oaklea is an additional car park.

"Their vehicles are causing obstructions.

"We want residents' parking permits, so long as we don't have to pay for them."

Councillor Ron Farnham who, together with Councillor Dianne Morgan and deputy mayor Peter Fleming, met with Oaklea residents prior to the meeting, said: "It's probably the worst parking problem in Honiton, along with Orchard Way and Westcott Way."

Councillor Roy Coombs said every estate affected by the problem should be treated the same.

Honiton Town Council has until the end of October to pass on its recommendation for Oaklea to Paul Wilson, Devon County Council's area traffic engineer for east and mid Devon.

What do you think? Is the cost of parking to blame or are motorists too lazy to park too far away from town centres?

Visit the Herald's website to comment.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Midweek Herald