Review will seek to draw up a new parking strategy for Barnstaple

Survey forms will be left on cars in Barnstaple car parks in the days ahead.Survey forms will be left on cars in Barnstaple car parks in the days ahead.

North Devon Council is carrying out a review of parking in Barnstaple.

It has appointed consultants, Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), who will be working with Hydrock to conduct research and draw up a parking strategy for the town.

The aim will be to improve parking options based on current and future needs, reduce congestion, improve air quality, encourage sustainable transport and explore innovative ideas to meet seasonal parking demands.

Survey reply cards will be left on windscreens in car parks across the town on four days; two in the Easter holidays this Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 15 and two days after the schools go back (April 21-22). The council hopes will ensure a good mix of shoppers, employees and leisure users.

Economic development manager, Ellen Vernon, said: "Parking is an important element of our regeneration plans for the town. We need to understand who is using Barnstaple's car parks, how often and why.

"We want to find out as much as we can to ensure our future plans meet their needs, keep traffic congestion to a minimum and keep the town centre vibrant."

The council says it will be considering a number of factors including: the impact of free car parking, car park revenue, easier access to rail and road improvements, smart payment and booking systems, charging points for electric cars, the impact of housing growth and car park capacity.

It follows a decision to do away with barrier 'pay on foot' parking at Bear Street and Hardaway Head car parks because the council said the system was not paying for itself.