A RAFT of new parking charges could be implemented across Mid Devon with a greater variety of time options as well as price rises.

Long-stay car parks in Cullompton, Crediton and Tiverton are likely to have a wider choice of time tariffs available for residents, while an increase in prices of 6.7 per cent has been proposed.

Under new proposals due to go to Mid Devon District Council’s next cabinet meeting for ratification or alteration, shoppers in Crediton will have the choice of parking for between up to one hour through up to five hours, with 10-hour and 24-hour tariffs available beyond that, whereas presently only one-hour, two-hour, 10 and 24-hours are available.

Similarly in Crediton High Street, where only two, five, 10 and 24-hour tariffs were available, one-hour through to five hours are likely to be on offered as well as 10 and 24-hour tariffs.

Tiverton’s Wellbrook Street and Market Place could also benefit from additional time-slot choices.

While this could reduce the price of parking for some – particularly those who previously had to pay for two hours but only wanted one – the prices of each time-band is likely to rise under the new proposals.

Two-hour charges are £2.70 presently, but could rise to £2.90 when the new scheme is implemented in the coming weeks.

Increased charges were implemented in June last year, having been agreed by the former Conservative-led administration in March.

The Lib Dems took control of the authority in the May election but retained the Conservative proposed parking price increase.

Mid Devon District Council’s economy policy development group heard on Thursday, March 7, of concerns about those previous rises because of a “lack of input” from local representatives.

Councillor Steve Keable (Liberal Democrat, Taw Vale), cabinet member for planning and economic regeneration, said this time the proposed changes had been done “in consultation with local communities”.

He continued: “The car parking charges we inherited (from the Conservatives) seemed to be odd and random, lacking in common sense.

“People who wanted to pop into their town centre for half-an-hour were facing parking charges that started at two hours.”

Cllr Keable said an inflationary rise had been included on time tariffs that already existed on the new proposals.

Elsewhere, the meeting also endorsed free parking on five Saturdays before Christmas in Tiverton’s multi-storey car park, Crediton High Street and Cullompton’s Station Road. These will begin on November 23 through to December 21.

Bradley Gerrard