WEB POLL: Is red tape killing trade?

Businesses are facing more and more rules and regulations.

THE addition of no unloading lines in New Street has caused outrage among business owners in Honiton. The Herald poses the question: are too many rules and regulations killing trade?

Many shoppers concede that regulations are needed but say there should be a balance to ensure trade continues during these tough economic times. Speaking to The Midweek Herald, they stressed more people would be encouraged to shop locally if parking was made easier. The lines were painted last month to the surprise of business owners and residents.

They prevent the loading or unloading of vehicles during business hours.

Chris Linsdell, of Honiton, said: “There are probably too many rules and regulations.

“The lines in New Street will affect loading and unloading and it is going to cause traders a problem.

“We’ve got to have parking restrictions but, on the other hand, we need to encourage trade into the town. It is a no win situation.”

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Elaine Spurdens, 87, of Honiton, said: “I see the point of the restrictions in New Street, but I feel very sorry for traders there. I can see both sides.

“I don’t think people are being driven out of Honiton by these rules and regulations, but more fresh fruit and vegetables would perhaps bring them in.”

Jacky McColloch, 61, of Hemyock, said: “Generally, it is difficult for traders as parking is an issue.

“If it is easy to park, businesses will get more patronage from customers.”

Honiton market trader Mike Jones said: “It is an issue in New Street.

“If you can’t get stock to where you are running your business it is going to be a big issue when you are trying to trade.

“I think business rates are also an issue that could drive out traders.”

Wendy Taylor, 64, of Sidmouth, said: “I do think that too many rules and regulations are driving out traders. It is just at a time when we are all trying to trade.

“As far as parking is concerned, they are trying to stop lorries making deliveries at certain times but, as a business owner, you can’t always be on the premises at all times.

“I appreciate it is hard with large lorries in town, but businesses have to have deliveries.

“Trade is difficult for everyone.”

Market trader Caroline Comybeare, 48, of Honiton, said: “We need regulations, but you’ve got to strike a balance and not make trade harder and harder.”

David Barnett, 71, of Honiton, said: “It is definitely causing quite a problem for the people up there.

“It certainly would drive out trade - if you have big items you can’t carry.”

Lorraine Bailey, 56, of Honiton, said: “I think there are too many rules and regulations everywhere, to be honest.

“The lines are absolutely ridiculous; people have got to load and unload and there are only certain times to do it in.

“It does have an impact on trade. If I couldn’t park, I would be put off.

“It makes you want to go out of town to bigger stores rather than shop locally.”