Seaton’s parking meters must go, demands council

Town’s anger over being singled out for on-street parking charges

SEATON town council is demanding the immediate removal of its seafront parking meters.

It says it is totally unfair for the resort to be the only one in East Devon to have on-street charges.

And it is calling on county transport spokesman Stuart Hughes to attend a public meeting and explain why they have been singled out.

Councillors last night accused the highways authority of duping them into having the meters on the pretence that they were part of a traffic management plan.

In reality, they had simply moved vehicles from the seafront to other streets around the town – creating a worse and more dangerous situation, it was claimed.

But not all the councilors thought that, operated correctly and priced right, they were a bad thing – helping to prevent people hogging spaces which could be used for money-spending visitors.

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Their main beef was that Seaton had been singled out while the county had stepped back from imposing them on other towns like Honiton and Axminster.

Leading the call for their removal, Councillor Peter Burrows said the parking meters had been forced on them after they had been given two options - to have them throughout the town or just on the seafront.

“It is ridiculous,” he said. “We have been lumbered with these parking meters which have moved the traffic away from the seafront and put it on roads like Colyford Road, Meadow Road and Eyewell. They were introduced under the guise of traffic management but have not worked at all.

“The sooner we get rid of them the better.”

Councillor Steph Jones agreed, adding: “This is just a money making device for the county council.”

Councillor John Meakin said it was unfair for Seaton to be the only town to have meters – but he was not necessarily against using them for parking control on the seafront.

“I am not surprised there are not many cars there because the free parking has been taken away,” he said. “Before parking meters you would see cars and vans arrive there on Friday night and they did not move until Monday – possibly Tuesday if it was a bank holiday. It stopped visitors parking there.”