Care workers in North Devon will soon be able to park on single and double yellow lines.

Devon County Council's (DCC) cabinet approved an extension to the Care Workers Parking Exemption Scheme at a meeting today (Wednesday).

The scheme will allow care workers, social care staff and health staff to park on single and double yellow lines for up to an hour if nearby alternative parking isn't available.

Currently it allows them to use on-street parking without a time limit in no waiting, pay and display and resident parking bays for free.

The changes are expected to come into force in the next financial year once legal work has been completed and new permits issued.

DCC's cabinet member for highways management, Councillor Stuart Hughes, said: "By providing the flexibility that care support workers need, it will make it easier for them to do their jobs.

"Since the present permit was launched many care workers have said that parking remains an issue and as a consequence I endorsed an extension to the scheme to include double and single yellow lines.

"Care workers and agencies will need to apply for an official two-part permit and parking will only be permitted if there is no nearby alternative.

"However we recognise the pressures the health and care sector is currently under and that's why we will not charge for these permits."

The proposals follow a recent online consultation where, of the 150 people who filled in the questionnaire, 89 per cent agreed that including yellow lines in the scheme would make their jobs easier and 80 per cent said it would help them care for their clients.

Almost 65 per cent said it would help them manage stress and most said that parking near their clients' homes would help them feel safer if they were working alone.

DCC's cabinet member for adult social care and health services, Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, said: "We value care workers highly and we have made these changes because they have told us it will make their jobs easier and improve their access to clients living at home.

"It will reduce the pressure care workers feel when looking for parking, and help them to arrive at their appointments in good time, which will improve the service they can deliver to their clients and help them continue to live independently."