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Time limit imposed in bid to nurture Heavitree trade

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

By Anne Byrne

Limit:  Heavitree councillor Tyna Crow

Limit: Heavitree councillor Tyna Crow

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CHANGES to Exeter's car parking fees have been largely approved by the city's executive.

As the Echo revealed last week, the city council planned to increase charges in nine car parks, while charges at 10 will remain the same. Charges at seven decreased. The changes will come into force in January.

But plans to allow all-day parking in Gordon's Place, Heavitree, have been halted because of its proximity to the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital.

Heavitree councillor Tyna Crow had previously told the Echo that if the proposed changes were made to the Gordon's Place car park it would be a death knell for the ward's Fore Street, and would send out a message that the city council didn't care.

She told the executive: "People will be able to park there for £1.80 for a whole day which is doing nothing at all to encourage people going to the hospital to use the park and ride.

"If this goes ahead hospital members of staff will go there and the car park would fill up at 8am, they would be there all day and leave at 4pm meaning that there would be no turn over for any businesses."

Members of the executive agreed with Cllr Crow's views and agreed to limit parking in Gordon's Place to no more than three hours.

But Topsham councillor Margaret Baldwin failed in her attempt to have the car parks at Matthews Hall and Topsham Quay moved into different bandings. Both have been designated as short stay car parks but Cllr Baldwin told the executive: "Matthews Hall is a small car park serving an out of town shopping street, such as Magdalen Road, Heavitree Road and Okehampton Street and to charge a significantly higher tariff here draws the conclusion that Topsham is seen by the city council as a 'cash cow' to be milked for as much parking revenue as possible."

Cllr Baldwin also said she believed Topsham Quay should not be a short stay car park as it was essentially a visitors' one.

She said: "We want visitors who come to Topsham to stay and use the facilities in the local area and not to be chased away by exorbitant parking charges after an hour or two."

Cllr Baldwin also drew attention to the fact that there was no signposting to the Holman Way and Tappers Close car parks.

She said: "If long stay car parks were signed on the approaches to Topsham this might help alleviate some of the congestion."

Members of the executive said they believe the banding for the car parks was correct, but agreed to contact Devon County Council to request signing for the car parks.

The executive is also to look into the colour coding of car park signs according to their banding across the city.

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