Pay and dismay in Axminster

On-street parking charges expected soon.

ON-STREET parking charges are coming to Axminster - and soon – residents have been warned.

The county council is introducing its controversial new money making scheme in seaside and market town’s across Devon.

Seaton already has it and there are plans to introduce it at Hontion.

Now Axminster Town Council’s planning committee chairman Chris Scott says they could be next on the list.

He said: “The jungle drums suggest this is going to be brought before us sooner rather than later. It looks as though it’s coming our way.”

Mr Scott said they should decide exactly how and where they would like to see the scheme operate in Axminster.

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“We will have no choice about accepting it,” he said.

“But we need to make it very clear we want consultation before hand - that’s the order of the day - so we agree where they go and how much this invidious exercise produces.”

Jerry Walden said if the meters encouraged people to park for only half and hour instead of an hour free, as at present, it could actually help the town by encouraging a bigger turnover of vehicles.

“No one wants to pay but it may facilitate a greater throughput of traffic – I don’t know if there is any research we can access about this,” he said.

Thelma Collier said they should wait to see the results of its introduction in other towns like Seaton where it was operating along the promenade.

The result there appeared to be the “complete abandonment of the seafront”, she said.

District councillor Graham Godbeer said speeding up the turnover of traffic to stop people taking up spaces for too long was a good idea. But they needed to ensure there was no disparity of charging.

He said the district council was also currently looking at its car parking charges, trying to get a more equitable system, while maintaining the important revenue source.

Douglas Hull said they should ask officials in town’s where it had been introduced – like Tiverton – to tell them what affect it had had and whether it resulted in the clogging up of other parts of the town.