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U-turn on on-street parking policy for Lyme Regis
THE first battle has been won in the on-street parking meter fight, but campaigners have warned the war is not over.
DORSET County Council agreed to re-think its county wide on-street parking policy at Tuesday's environment overview committee due to the strength of the opposition - and the arguments - put forward by Lyme Regis and Bridport.
Lyme Regis Town Council formally responded to the proposals put forward by Dorset County Council in a statement, saying: “This council, mindful of the comments and feedback from residents and business operating within the town of Lyme Regis, reject the proposal regarding the pay and display on street parking scheme, and that no further public money is wasted by taking this any further.”
A quarter of the town also signed the petition created by the Lyme Regis Business Group (LRBG) with more than a 1000 signatures, and there is also a poster campaign in shops throughout the town.
Tony Colston, chairman of the LRBG, said he was pleased the county council had decided to reconsider, but warned against complacency.
Mr Colston said: “It is good they are going reconsider it and take on board the concerns of local residents. It will be interesting to see how they go about taking this process on in the future in terms of who they consult with and how.
“What we have to be careful of is that this is not just us being fobbed off to quieten us down. For those who haven't signed the petition already I urge you to sign up as we have to keep the pressure up and make sure they know parking meters are just not wanted in this town.”
Members of Dorset County Council at Tuesday's environment overview committee decided to call for a county-wide review instead of putting forward a proposal to consult on schemes in Bridport and Lyme Regis after hearing representations from the towns.
Miles Butler, county council director of environment told members of the committee there was evidence in Dorchester and Swanage to show pay and display parking could have a positive impact on the local economy.
He said metres ensured a greater turnover of visitors and prevented people driving round looking for free spaces.
After hearing the evidence, Coun Ronald Coatsworth asked for an amendment to the recommendation, which had proposed a consultation on pay and display schemes in Bridport in Lyme Regis.
He suggested instead the committee should ask the council's cabinet to review its policy in the light of the local and national economic situation.
Coun Coatsworth's amended recommendation was backed by the rest of the committee.
Committee chairman Robin Cook said: “We need to look at this in a much more measured way for an overall perspective of where we are with parking within our towns.”