New parking fees in Devon are 'not to raise revenue'

Devon County Council has denied it is planning parking charges in a number of towns in order to cover a £500,000 shortfall.

Its parking enforcement service, which costs about £2m a year to run, only made £1.5m in fines in 2009/10.

There are plans to introduce parking restrictions at eight towns, including Okehampton.

Councillor Kay Bickley said the town did not want to become a "cash cow to be milked" over parking.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, the county council's spokesman on Highways and Transportation, said: "On street pay and display is designed to effectively manage traffic, not to raise revenue.

Public consultation

"The scheme will improve turnover of spaces and make the enforcement process more efficient and more cost effective."

Ms Bickley said: "We are most aggrieved because we should be involved in shaping any proposal that would impact upon the town and its businesses.

"We don't want to be Devon County Council's cash cow to be milked.

"They are not running their service efficiently or effectively."

The county council took control of parking enforcement, including issuing parking fines, from the police in 2008 and aims to make its parking enforcement service self-financing within five years.

It is currently holding a public consultation on introducing pay-and-display parking in Okehampton, Honiton, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Kingsbridge, Braunton, Tavistock.

Drivers would be able to park for free for 30 minutes before needing to buy a ticket.

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