TORBAY business people are being asked their views on a review of parking charges in the Bay.
Three options were being put to councillors today including leaving charges as they are, reducing charges particularly in winter and introducing new permits for residents (see Pages 10 and 11).
Business people who called for the review amid some of the worst trading conditions in recent history, were invited to put their views to a transport committee at the town hall today.
James Cross, chairman of Torquay Chamber of Trade, said he believed more information was needed before the financial implications of any proposed changes could be fully understood.
He said: "I applaud the review which is what we were calling for, but it doesn't give us the information relating to income generated, and what the expenditure is used for, that we need to come to a sound judgement on the proposals.
"Even the standstill option isn't a guaranteed income unless people use the car parks."
Torquay town centre councillor Darren Cowell, who lobbied for a residents' permit, said he welcomed its inclusion.
"I think the general sense of direction is right, but the real issue about all the different permits being discussed is the price they are set at. We should go for the cheapest option, but I will be making comments on the proposed pricing structure.
"I think the residents' car park permit should be £35 a month not £50. I also want to look at the on-street parking rates.
"We need a transparent parking system which is consistent. The current system confuses people."
Matthew Clarke, chairman of the Paignton Business Improvement District, said: "The most important result of this review is to change everyone's perception that the towns are too expensive to park in.
"There must be a major 'in your face' marketing campaign which should include a well designed leaflet in the next rates bill to every householder and business highlighting the positive comparisons with other towns, the £50 residents permit for parking 3pm to 10am, (ensuring it is really easy to obtain), the permits available to holidaymakers and anything else which is decided on that will increase footfall in our towns."