Parking meters 'could be part of Devon traffic plans'

Pay and display
Image caption Plans for pay and display meters caused anger among thousands of local people

Abandoned plans to introduce parking machines across the county where parking is free could be resurrected.

Devon County Council had proposed on-street parking restrictions in 10 towns, but the plans were dropped in January after thousands of objections.

Now councillors are being asked to determine whether a new traffic management plan should be developed.

Stuart Hughes, county council cabinet member for transport, said pay-and-display machines could form part of it.

Meters bought

Devon County Council had proposed restrictions in Honiton, Kingsbridge, Okehampton, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Dartmouth, Braunton, Tavistock, Lynton and Lynmouth.

As part of the original proposals, the council bought 100 machines at a cost of about £300,000.

But the plans were dropped after the council received about 4,400 objections.

Critics said the meters would have forced people into out-of-town supermarkets.

Councillor Hughes said he would speak local county councillors about any new proposals.

In a statement, he said: "A programme can then be developed that takes into account the identified needs and resources available.

"It could include residents' parking schemes, pay and display, minor highway improvements to reduce congestion or improve sustainable transport, and larger schemes that fit with longer term Local Transport Plan or are associated with the Local Development Framework."

One MP said she hoped any moves to reintroduce the meter proposals were not aimed at raising revenues.

Totnes Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston said: "There may be some towns were some form of limited of traffic flow is necessary.

"But, hopefully, it doesn't become a revenue-generating opportunity, because that's what people don't want to see. It would have the potential to destroy high streets."

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