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Councillor tells residents: Let us know your views on parking

By Herald Express  |  Posted: August 02, 2012

FINES:    Paul Sneap, director of Price First Taxis   Torquil MacLeod TQTM20120730G-001_C

FINES: Paul Sneap, director of Price First Taxis Torquil MacLeod TQTM20120730G-001_C

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RESIDENTS who have concerns over the current parking regime in Torbay have been urged to let the council know their views as well as business people.

It comes as the first parking summit was being held between councillors and business leaders.

Cllr Robert Excell, member for transport, said that while they were meeting the chairman of the business organisations who had highlighted how the current parking policies were hitting business, he wanted to also hear from residents.

The chairman of the Bay's community partnerships was being invited to the summit to discuss the way forward and Cllr Excell urged people to contact their own ward partnership with their ideas.

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"I would encourage people to get in touch with their partnerships if they have ideas that they think we could benefit from, as long as it is positive, we have to encourage positivity. I am willing to listen, or people can write to me at the town hall," he said.

Price First Taxis, of Reddenhill Road in Torbay, has claimed that 'new parking laws' in the Bay 'are having a severe impact on the service we can supply to the public, in particular the elderly or infirm'.

Director Paul Sneap said: "Since early July our drivers are constantly receiving parking fines for dropping or picking customers up, virtually anywhere within the town centre of Torquay or the harbour area.

"These actions not only affect our business as taxi company but could add additional stress on businesses in the Bay, where customers will have yet another reason to shop outside of the town."

A Torbay Council spokesman said: "Torbay Council has not introduced any new parking restrictions in Union Street, Market Street or Torhill Road.

"However, we have introduced a CCTV vehicle, in addition to the civil enforcement officers, which patrols the area, as well as other key areas in the Bay including schools.

"All of the taxi companies, including private hire firms were made aware of this.

"The vehicle helps to enforce the high level offences, such as parking in commercial loading bays, coach bays and in areas with kerb markings which are in place for road safety reasons, where for many years, some drivers have continued to ignore the regulations.

"In turn, this affects shoppers' safety, local businesses and their ability to take deliveries and disrupts traffic flow.

"The camera takes 20 seconds of footage and will clearly show whether a person is getting in or out of a vehicle.

"If this is the case then an officer viewing the photos will not issue a Penalty Charge Notice to a taxi.

"We continue to remind the private taxi firms that there are several points where they can drop off and collect customers in the town centre which are not enforced by the camera car.

"Private hire firms who cannot use town centre taxi ranks, these only being available to hackney taxis, can challenge tickets issued by the CCTV vehicle by providing evidence of pick ups and drops offs which should be easily provided as customers can only pre-book these vehicles."

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  • mystie0110  |  August 07 2012, 1:16PM

    In my opinion parking fines and high parking charges are legalised theft! I feel that surely there has to be a better way to raise revenue other than screwing the motoring residents of Torbay? If anyone is interested then there is Facebook page dedicated to this very issue, please see: http://tinyurl.com/cgsmhrn I would mind so much about paying these charges as long as I knew that the people who impose them were paying the same too. Is this the case? Does anyone know? Do councillors get reduced rates? The people who make the rules should have to live by them. This way they can appreciate better the arguments that are being put forward. I think that the Bay needs a complete overhaul of it's parking policy or it will simply end up driving people away.

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  • spindleshanks  |  August 02 2012, 9:12PM

    That's why I have suggested the scheme I have. The large retailers (especially those out of town) aren't going to want to know, will certainly not want to participate and most importantly of all won't be able to legally challenge the scheme. Which leaves the increase in footfall generated being driven through the independent shops in the town centres. Retailers participating will only be picking up a cost as a result of an increase in sales volume. they may want to pass that cost on but hey, is anyone really going to notice? If you are in the hotel trade and have an empty room tonight, it's far better to sell it for cost plus x% if you can rather than leave it sitting empty. To do otherwise simply means you will never have a chance to recover the revenue lost tonight. That is the problem facing our retailers in our town centres. It's a drip drip drip route to going out of business. Really think it is time some positive "out of the box" thinking is required.

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  • Cweed  |  August 02 2012, 7:50PM

    Forget all this retailers paying back the customer why don't the retailers just pay the council an extra tax and do away with all the parking charges. As in effect that's what it is an extra tax. Of course the retailers will then pass the costs back to you the customer as an increase in the price of their goods. This is how it happens in stores at the Willows , B&Q etc. You didn't really think that you got free parking there did you? All the costs of maintaining their car parks are part of their overheads and clawed back in the price structure.

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  • spindleshanks  |  August 02 2012, 5:15PM

    "OK here's a thought - why doesn't the council produce a two part parking permit that everyone (including council employees and councillors) can buy, the first part is displayed in the windscreen of the vehicle being parked and the second part (credit card size?), gets presented when making purchases in town centre stores participating in a parking rebate scheme. Already one retailer in Paignton is offering customers a parking rebate (as reported elsewhere) so why not extend the scheme? Participating retailers will have to provide a small rebate on purchases made in their store but the scheme could be extended to include tickets issued by roadside parking meters. Surely a small rebate on purchases made could be more than offset against a gain in overall footfall and sales revenue? There is no additional admin cost to this system, no loss in parking revenues to the council (and local taxpayer) and the system just ensures the maximum number of people will actually spend their money in our town centres rather than out of town including and dare I say it, those individuals working for the council. It can't be challenge by the retailers that operate out of town as it woud effectively force them to give away money for no additional footfall or spend; they would simply not want to be part of the scheme. The scheme is ideal for independent retailers. This has got to be all about bringing local people back into our town centres. Of course permit holders wouldn't even have to bring their cars into town to earn a discount. To conclude, I think we should go one better than "Free Parking" - how about Torbay "Pay Bays" - in other words your parking space could actually earn you money."

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  • spindleshanks  |  August 02 2012, 3:12PM

    Does anyone else think the camera van looks like it has ET stuck on the roof? Wish he'd go home.

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  • SieHawkins  |  August 02 2012, 12:42PM

    Price First Taxi customers please be aware that because of the new intensified parking laws in the Bay it is becoming increasingly more difficult to pick up or drop of in the town areas without receiving a parking fine. But do not despair! We at PFT have come up with an alternative method of being picked up in town. As our drivers approach you will see that the driver will kindly open the door while at the same time reducing his speed, at this point the customer will have to match the speed of the taxi and jump in. SIMPLE! I think it's a great idea and am sure it will be a great success. When dropping off, well the driver will be trained to assist in pushing you out of a moving TAXI! As you can see we are always thinking of ways to keep not only the customer happy but meeting the parking guidelines set out by the local authority. It's got to be a win win situation. HAPPY DAYS! ;-)

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  • SieHawkins  |  August 02 2012, 12:40PM

    Price First Taxi customers please be aware that because of the new intensified parking laws in the Bay it is becoming increasingly more difficult to pick up or drop of in the town areas without receiving a parking fine. But do not despair! We at PFT have come up with an alternative method of being picked up in town. As our drivers approach you will see that the driver will kindly open the door while at the same time reducing his speed, at this point the customer will need to match the speed of the taxi and jump in. SIMPLES! I think it's a great idea and am sure it will be a great success. When dropping off, well the driver will be trained to assist in pushing you out of a moving TAXI! As you can see we are always thinking of ways to keep not only the customer happy but meeting the parking guidelines set out by the local authority. It's got to be a win win situation. HAPPY DAYS! ;-)

    Rate   -5
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  • Azriel22  |  August 02 2012, 11:21AM

    Welcome to the town famous by the notorious Torbay Taliban. Perhaps another two page spread in The Sunday Times is due featuring the camera car catching visitors dropping their cases at the B&B.

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