Councillors have agreed to scrap a park and ride on the edge of town.

At a meeting of Lyme Regis Town Council’s strategy and finance committee, councillors were asked to consider whether another planning application should be submitted to East Devon District Council to continue to use Sidmouth Road park and ride.

The park and ride wasn’t used in 2018 and an application wasn’t submitted, rather it ran solely from the Charmouth Road park and ride which was granted permanent planning permission for use by up to 400 cars.

Consultants Hydrock were appointed by the town council to look at various parking, signage and transport issues in the town. A draft report does not see the need for a second park and ride.

However, if the council doesn’t submit a planning application, it will still need to undertake remedial works at the Sidmouth Road site, which will also be at cost to the council.

It is hoped signage can be installed on the A35, directing traffic coming from East Devon to the Charmouth Road park and ride.

Cllr Graham Turner said: “I think the park and ride at Sidmouth Road should be forgotten about altogether as far as Lyme Regis is concerned.

“With the Charmouth Road one, when that is full up, Lyme Regis is full up. We don’t need the Sidmouth Road park and ride at all.”

Cllr Michaela Ellis agreed. She added: “We have got to remember why that park and ride was open. It was opened because Charmouth Road car park was closed because of the [flood defence] works and it was to provide spaces there.

“We were lucky enough to have it and I hoped we would have been able to keep it going, but because we have extended Charmouth Road, I don’t think we can keep spending money up there and I think we should put it back as it was.”

However, Cllr John Broom said the council should keep the park and ride ‘on the back burner’.

“I believe that we should keep it for another year until we get the final Hydrock report,” he said.

This was supported by Cllr Stan Williams.

Deputy clerk Mark Green said: “We’re between a rock and a hard place here because our planning permission has obviously expired and there’s a condition of the previous permission which requires remedial work to be taken by a certain date. We’re past that date already and I think it’s unlikely that we will be allowed to continue to not do those works for another year.

“Without a planning application and subsequent permission, we are required to undo the works that were done to create that car park so we’re in a difficult situation.”

Cllr Brian Larcombe MBE, mayor of Lyme Regis, proposed that the council should not pursue the Sidmouth Road park and ride and efforts should be put into the Charmouth Road park and ride and signage.

He said: “I personally wouldn’t support the retention of the Sidmouth Road park and ride or even seeking an application for use, and I say that because the Hydrock report does, as much as we can interpret at the moment, suggest the numbers don’t stack up.

“Michaela is absolutely right when she says it was only introduced as a temporary measure while the sea defence work was being undertaken, so it was never part of Lyme’s parking offering as such and since then, Charmouth Road park and ride has been brought in and developed.”