Always space to park

Joseph Bulmer

SIR - The residents and shoppers of Newport will be pleased that the new administration at North Devon Council could introduce first hour free parking in Newport Car Park. (NDG July 6) It goes on to say that they hope it will help boost shopping in Newport Road and Pilton Street.

John Mathews and I have experience of the problems of Newport shopping area and what might work for Pilton unfortunately will hardly touch the problems associated with Newport.

Newport was hit by a double whammy with the closure of the Post Office some years ago and the subsequent closing of Taw Vale problems, which existed before the opening of the new Tesco store.

These problems were completely ignored by the then Leader of the county Council, Cllr Greenslade, who put them down to the recession.

A �70k roundabout was constructed when there was tangible opposition to the continued closure of Taw Vale with an approximate 500-signature petition collected door to door by Cllr Simon Harvey which found that two-thirds of the respondents wished the road to be re-opened.

With the present trade levels, shoppers in Newport rarely have problems parking, as there are always spaces in the three lay-bys.

Your councillors have consistently attempted to bring this to the attention of the Joint County and District HATOC Committee (North Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee) with little success. There has always been ample proof that the decrease in trade was directly linked to the closing of Taw Vale. We have appealed to our county councillor for help on this, but to little avail.

Brian and Rodney are both county councillors and have the solution to Newport’s problem in their hands.

Michael Harrison & John Mathews

Newport Ward North Devon Councillors.