Now you will have to pay to park in High Street

Business leaders in Honiton are outraged.

JUST as Honiton starts to inch out of the economic slump, it has been revealed that Devon County Council is planning to charge motorists to park in High Street.

Business leaders have reacted angrily to the news and say they are outraged.

They claim consultation is due to be carried out too late - after the decision has been made.

Parking will be free for the first 30 minutes and then charged at 60p an hour.

“We are outraged,” said Colin Wright, chairman of Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“At a time when we are trying to promote the High Street, Devon County Council comes along and does this.

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“After all the work we have done, working with Honiton Town Council, the Federation of East Devon Chambers and other organisations over the past year to enhance the town and save money!”

Mr Wright added: “We are all absolutely appalled at the way in which this has been managed, without consultation.”

Honiton’s former market supervisor, Terry Farebrother, is concerned that parking bays are used by street traders two days a week.

He is wondering what will happen if a trader turns up and finds a car with a ticket displayed parked on his or her pitch.

Markings have already appeared along High Street and metal poles for the ticket machines installed, it is claimed.

A Devon County Council spokesman told the Midweek Herald: “The cabinet resolved last month to progress the introduction of pay and display in market and coastal towns across Devon as soon as practicable. Schemes will typically transfer existing areas of limited waiting to pay and display, largely mirroring existing hours of operation and time restrictions, in core areas.

“In recognition of the current economic circumstances, consideration will also be given to introducing new town centre pay and display schemes on the basis of free parking for the first 30 minutes.

“In communities where schemes are being put forward, local county council members have been consulted, ahead of the proposals being advertised.

“The intention is to advertise the next tranche of schemes by mid November, which will provide town councils, the local chamber of commerce and local residents with the opportunity to respond.”