Torbay Council has approved a new set of parking tariffs to be introduced from November 1 2018.
Commenting on the changes, Nigel Makin who has led the Chamber’s parking lobby for the last three years, said:
“There are positives and negatives to the new tariffs structure. The big negative is that we didn’t manage to secure a 50p entry level tariff with 50p increments every half hour for Brixham Central Car Park which would have gone some way towards giving residents and visitors a realistic alternative to the free car parking available at such locations as Sainsbury Local and Cost Cutter at Furzeham. These “free” car parking options will continue to drive footfall away from our town centre and put at risk potential investment this area. However, we have finally managed to secure a number of positives:
- A 12 month “all year round” tariff (no more changes every spring and autumn)
- An acceptance that Brixham Central is Brixham’s equivalent of “on street parking” and that there should be an appropriate tariff to cover this
- A 60p entry level tariff for Brixham Central Car Park
- New tariff boards adjacent to/behind the pay machines
In addition, the council has committed to 10 x new pay machines (at least one of which will be positioned in Brixham Central Car Park). These machines will allow people to pay by various methods including coins, card and “tap and go”. It will also allow visitors to purchase 2, 3 or 7 day passes via the machines which will be good from a customer service point of view and good for revenue generation for the council.”
Councillors were told the changes would make the tariffs easier to understand, had been supported by businesses and would help the council hit its growth targets.
On the proposed changes, Cllr Robert Excell, Executive Lead for Community Services, said that the charges won’t please everyone, but will be for the benefit of the community. He added: “This is what the people want and we are here to represent them. Businesses said that they wanted a single tariff and one fair price to move away from a seasonally based tariff system.”
Cllr Mike Morey added: “Nobody wants increases and I agree that we want to attract people into the town centres as much as possible. But given our budgetary constraints, this is the best that we can come up with.”
But despite being approved, it was criticised by opposition Lib Dems, as well as two Conservatives, which said all the charges would do would be to drive more people to out-of-town shopping centres like the Willows, or to Newton Abbot.