Contact the Bridport News with your stories, pictures and video footage. Send us an email
Parking meters 'not a done deal' says council
9:56am Thursday 12th September 2013 in Lyme Regis
DORSET County Council has denied claims it has already purchased the parking meters which would see an end to free parking on the streets of Lyme Regis.
Council officials also insist they are not dictating to the town about parking and have pledged to have a ‘two-way conversation’ with the people of Lyme.
The council is currently in a consultation period over controversial proposals which would see the free one hour parking on Broad Street, Pound Street and Silver Street replaced with metered spaces.
Disgusted business owners have already started a petition against the meters.
John Perkins, who manages the Onnis clothes shop on Broad Street, said he had doubts that the consultation period would make any difference.
Mr Perkins said: “I am not sure it will work without a lot of pressure from the town and from the town council.
“That is why the Lyme Regis Business Group has set up this petition to get our voices heard and to create pressure.”
Tony Colston, chairman of the newly formed Lyme Regis Business Group, said he feared the scheme could be the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for the town’s shops and businesses.
Mr Colston said: “If we were to have meters, I feel quite strongly it would stop people from popping into town to do that little bit of shopping, or popping into the post office or nipping into the bank.”
County traffic group manager Matthew Piles said: “Dorset County Council is currently in the initial stage of a consultation and we want a two-way conversation with the town. We’re investigating the roll out for Lyme Regis as part of an on-street parking programme for Dorset.
“We have not purchased meters for these towns and we are not dictating to the town about parking.
“However it is widely recognised that at certain times there is congestion and on-street parking can be used as a tool to help reduce this.
“Free limited parking is costly in terms of the time staff spend enforcing against illegal parking.
“Using a pay and display scheme will streamline the service and create better value for money.”
Copies of the petition have been distributed to local shops and businesses throughout Lyme Regis and Mr Colston is urging everybody in the local community to sign it.
Mr Colston added: “The aim of the campaign is to make sure we do not get parking meters in Lyme Regis.
“It was mentioned at the last planning meeting and everyone agrees the problem with Lyme is there is not enough effective parking enforcement.
“If they were to put in meters they would still need people to enforce it, so why don’t they just enforce the current restrictions better?
“This paid parking is just a revenue earner for the county council and it’s not right, small towns need their parking because if people can’t park for free to pop in and do a bit of shopping, they will just go to Tesco or Waitrose.”
Mr Colston has also set up an online petition for people who want to sign, attracting 90 signatures in the first two days.
Visit you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/no-to-parking-meters-in-lyme-regis to add your signature.
Have your say on the story below.
Comments are closed on this article.