Anger over parking fees hike

A 67 per cent increase in the cost of North Devon residents parking permits has been branded a stealth tax. Liberal Democrat Devon County Councillors Brian Greenslade, Chris Haywood, and Geoff Fowler have attacked proposals by the council to increase o

A 67 per cent increase in the cost of North Devon residents' parking permits has been branded "a stealth tax."

Liberal Democrat Devon County Councillors Brian Greenslade, Chris Haywood, and Geoff Fowler have attacked proposals by the council to increase on street and residential parking charges from April 1.

The plans will see parking permits in Barnstaple and Bideford rise from �12 to �20, while on-street pay and display meter charges will rise, with increases varying with location.

For example an hour parking in the Strand and New Road areas of Bideford will increase by 10p, but by 30p for two hours.


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Councillor Brian Greenslade has called on the public to write to the county and complain at the increase.

"Asking for 67 per cent more on residential parking charges is simply a stealth tax by any measure," he said.

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"Given the very fragile recovery in the economy, businesses in town centres like Barnstaple need every customer they can get, not increases in parking charges that deter people from shopping. Equally residents who are struggling with family incomes at this time, can well do without an increase."

l On Tuesday, North Devon Council's executive will be looking at a raft of measures to bring the Off Street Parking Order up to date, including raising the cost of permits in 2011 by 60 per cent for unreserved permits and 75 for reserved. Recommended changes for this year include reducing the winter charging period from 7 to 6pm and removing the 30 minute free parking form Commercial Road car park in Barnstaple.

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