Dulverton holds its breath

By in Community News

“ALL hell will be let loose” in Dulverton if swingeing proposed parking-charge increases go ahead, a town councillor predicted this week.

West Somerset Council’s scrutiny committee was being asked this afternoon (Thursday) being asked to recommend that six-month and 12-month permits for Dulverton car parks be raised by up to three times their current rate.

“If this goes through, people will be really angry,” said Dulverton Cllr Ian Fleming.

“We depend on people coming into the town to spend money. They will either not pay the increased charges or park on the roads and snarl the whole place up.”

If the district council’s Off-Street Parking Places Order 2017 is approved by the full council later this month, Dulverton’s six-month £50 parking permits will rise from June 1 to £160 and 12-month permits will increase from £90 to £210.

At a Dulverton Town Council meeting on Monday, councillors declared that the proposed rises were far too big and urged the district council to reconsider the proposal and to keep the rates at or near their current level.

It was agreed that members should write to the scrutiny committee highlighting the problems such drastic increases would cause in the town.

They also objected to the town-centre Lion Stables car park remaining as a short stay facility rather than being included in the parking permit scheme.

The town council had rented three car parks from the district authority since 1994 but in April 2016 West Somerset Council terminated a five-year agreement after only two years and took back control of the car parks.

District council car park manager Tracey-Ann Biss told scrutiny committee members in a report that Dulverton parking permit costs were significantly different to similar permits across the district.

She added that the proposed changes would bring Dulverton into line with the rest of West Somerset.

Full story in the Free Press