Shoppers say ‘no’ to parking meters in Honiton

Business leaders in Honiton are on stand-by over a possible bid by Devon County Council to install parking meters in High Street.

SHOPPERS in Honiton have hit out over a possible fresh bid by Devon County Council to install parking meters in High Street.

Business leaders in the town are on stand-by to hold an emergency meeting, if it is revealed the unpopular plan is back on.

A previous bid was quashed by massive public opposition.

Residents and visitors to the town last week called it a “ridiculous idea” and claimed parking meters could drive people away from the town.

Some even questioned why Honiton should have to pay for the county council’s mistake - after it purchased the meters before completing a public consultation.

The issue was discussed during a recent meeting of Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which said it is ready to launch a fresh petition if the plans resurface.

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Becky Box, 34, said: “People would be put off and would not stop to pick up things and would go to Tesco instead.

“Local shops would miss out.

“It is silly for the county council to even consider it - it is not the right thing for a small market town like Honiton, compared to bigger cities.

“Parking meters would put people off stopping if they have pay.”

Pensioner Angela Wiltshire said: “It is ridiculous idea to put parking meters in Honiton.

“We shouldn’t have to pay for the council’s mistake.”

Susie Ellis, 62, said: “I don’t agree with the county council trying to put parking meters in Honiton.

“This is a really thriving town and I would hate to see any shops close because of the impact putting parking meters in Honiton could have.

“It would have a detrimental visual impact, especially for people passing through.”

Sydney Buffery, 88, of Honiton said: “If we had parking meters there could be less traffic and maybe we wouldn’t have so many people coming into Honiton.

“It will put people off.

“The county council shouldn’t have gone ahead and bought the meters.”

Brian Crossley, 78, said: “I’ve always found parking a problem in Honiton.

“Having parking meters in the town wouldn’t bother me, but I think it would spoil the appearance of the town seeing the parking meters.”

His wife, Margaret, added: “I think it is better if the county council leave Honiton as it is.

Claire Phillips, 46, said: “I don’t think the council should go ahead with the parking meters.

“It would affect people coming into the town as people won’t stop - it will put people off.

“The county council shouldn’t have bought the meters until it was sure what it was going to be doing.

“If there were a lot of parking meters in Honiton it would put me off stopping.”

The town council has arranged to meet officials from County Hall, who have hinted that a solution may be possible.