Car parking charges increased in West Devon

West Devon Borough Council has agreed to amend charges in its pay and display car parks following a public consultation.

The Borough Council has increased the cost of all-day parking and long-stay in its Bedford, Brook Street and Riverside car parks in Tavistock, Mill Road car park in Okehampton and the car parks in Hatherleigh and Chagford in an effort to give visitors better access to short stay parking.

Short stay prices in Tavistock’s Guildhall car park has also increased. A new four-hour charge of £2 for the Bedford car park has been introduced to provide more flexibility within the tariff for shorter term parking requirements, while Riverside car park continues to provide a cheaper option for users to park.

It follows on the back of a 2019 consultation, which found that residents wanted more short-stay parking to be available.

In response to this, the new proposals increasing long stay charges aim to encourage vehicle turnover to give visitors and shoppers better access to parking. It is anticipated this will, in turn, improve the vibrancy of towns.

Lead Member for Communities Cllr Terry Pearce, who oversees the authority’s car parks in West Devon towns, said:
“The 2019 consultation revealed to us that our towns have limited parking availability. We needed to take action to deal with the extra number of new residents and visitors wanting to use our car parks. I strongly believe that the parking increases are realistic and reasonable, while still supporting the retail trading core of our towns.”

The proposals went out to public consultation in January and February, with notices placed in all the car parks, on the Council’s website and in the press. A total of 48 responses were received; nine people supported the changes feeling the price increase remained fair and reasonable.

The 39 people that objected felt it was the wrong time to be increasing charges, during the pandemic. Having considered the consultation responses, the council acknowledged that from those who did respond, the majority objected to the proposals.

However, they gave the response that overall this only represented a small number compared to the number of users of the car parks and therefore the vote went ahead to increase charges.

In Tavistock’s Bedford and Brook Street car parks, the all-day rate has increased from £2.50 to £4, while the Riverside all-day rate has increased from £2 to £2.50.

The all-day tariff in Okehampton’s Mill Road car park and Chagford car park has gone up from £2.50 to £3.

The new increased charges came into effect from 1st March 2021.

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Author: Eric Partridge

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