Business owner in Barnstaple hits out over parking charge hike and says there are ‘no provision for businesses’.

A Barnstaple business owner has reacted angrily to what he called an 'insane' hike on short-stay parking charges in the town.

Changes to North Devon Council charges came into effect on May 16, with a 10p per hour rise in short stay car parks, which also saw the all-day charge rise from £7.50 to £11.60 for the maximum 10 hours.

But former long stay car parks at Belle Meadow and Portland View have been made short stay, meaning all-day parking has risen from £4 to £11.60 – a leap of £7.60.

Craig Wonnacott, who runs Vape Town in Bear Street Arcade, is unhappy with the huge daily change.

Mr Wonnacott, who used to park in Queen Street, said: “It wasn't just the fact it was here, right on my doorstep. I could have gone over to Belle Meadow, but that's gone from £4 a day to £11.60, and that's quite a jump.

“There are no provisions for any business owners here. We all have to walk miles now – I have to go to the leisure centre now for cheap car parking, but if I want to bring stock in I still have to come in and pay extra to park here.

“It would have been £69 a week for me to park here for six days of the week, and I think that's insane.

“They want to attract people into this end of the town, and I know it's the second busiest car park in the town, but it's ridiculous.

“If it was truly an extra 10p an hour, it would only have put an extra 80p on my day. I could deal with that. ”

A review of NDC's parking charge structure said the changes were due to 'heavily oversubscribed' car parks.

It said: “It has been a long-term aspiration to push all long stay or commuter parking to the outskirts of the towns, leaving the central area available for short stay high turnover use.”

It said the change of long-stay car parks to short stay was due to 'pressure in the town for space'.

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