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Parking charges are a factor when deciding where to shop in Torbay

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 01, 2013

are charges right?:   Empty metered parking spaces in Torquay  Torquil MacLeod  TQTM20130124D-002_C

are charges right?: Empty metered parking spaces in Torquay Torquil MacLeod TQTM20130124D-002_C

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VISITORS do not consider the cost of parking when deciding on their holiday destination, says the report.

But parking prices are often reported to be a factor when local people consider where to shop.

The report compares summer beach car park charges in Torbay (where the charge is £1.50 for one hour 20 minutes, the equivalent of £1.12 for the first hour) with the more expensive hourly charges of Blackpool (£2.50), Brighton (£4), Eastbourne (£1.60), Newquay (£1.20) and the cheaper areas Poole (80p), Weston Super Mare (£1.10), Hastings (50p), Truro (£1.10) and Barnstaple (£1).

For the eight-hour charges of £8, Torbay is cheaper than areas like Blackpool (£9), Newquay (£10.30), Great Yarmouth (£15) and Brighton (£10), but more expensive than places like Poole (£6.40), Hastings (£2), Truro (£6.50) and Eastbourne (£4.80).

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The council also offers highly discounted parking permits for visitors during their stay. The report also compares Torbay to Teignbridge, South Hams and other Devon destinations. In Torbay the two-hour car park charge was the same as Exeter (£2.20), less than the South Hams (£2.60) and Plymouth (£2.40), but more than Teignbridge (£1.80) and East Devon, North Devon, West Devon, Torridge, and the cheapest Mid Devon (80p).

The report says the £2.50 for two hour charge to park on the street in Torbay is more expensive than everywhere else except Plymouth (£2.80) including Exeter (£2.30), Newton Abbot (£1.10), Teignmouth (£2) and Totnes (£1).

The report says some authorities have different charging policies across their car parks depending on location and time of year.

It states: "The comparisons with neighbouring authorities is a factor to consider as it is often reported in the media that locals may base their shopping habits, considering Torbay is likely to be in competition with Exeter and Plymouth, rather than for example Totnes which offers a more specialised shopping experience. However, during the winter without tourists, Torbay traders do struggle and parking charges is part of the offer to locals when considering shopping, therefore cheaper tariffs during the winter would seem fair."

Councillors will be told previous attempts at promotions offering cheap parking in an attempt to help the local economy and traders have resulted in some £203,000 in lost car parking revenue over the past four years.

The £1 all day parking on Saturdays during March and April 2012 saw a 7.5 per cent drop in ticket sales, say officers.

Charging times also vary in different areas with Torbay principally charging 8am to 6pm. Torbay charges £2 overnight, compared with areas like Exeter and Teignbridge which do not charge, and the South Hams which charges £2 and Plymouth £3.60.

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2 comments

  • jennyhomes  |  February 01 2013, 11:01AM

    That's right, Blame the parking charges. Lets forget the reason why tourist will not be back this year. Lets forget the drongos, drug addicts, used needles, closed shops, charity shops and dog poop. Yeah lets forget factory row, union street and market street. Yeah lets blame the parking charges....LOL

    |   -21
  • SidneyNuff  |  February 01 2013, 9:55AM

    People might not decide on where to go on holiday based on parking charges (that would be pretty stupid if they did) but it will put them off coming back. You wouldn't not come to Torquay because the high street and the pavilion are full of empty shops, but you would probably not come back. Parks and beaches full of drug addicted dossers would not be a choice in a holiday destination, but once seen, you would not come back. A town centre ringed with hostels once see would put you off. WHY don't these things put off first time holiday makers, EASY ANSWER - Because they are unaware of them. Does the latest Torbay holiday brochure tell you about them? Of course not.

    |   -23

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