Residents launch parking petition in Topsham
TOPSHAM residents are calling for a comprehensive review of parking in the town.
Residents and businesses have disagreed with recent banding changes to car parks imposed by the city council.
There has been particular anger over the re-designation of Topsham Quay and Matthews Hall car parks as a short stay for shoppers with residents insisting the Quay car park in particular is used mainly by visitors to the town.
In response a working group, set up by Topsham Community Association, has gathered more than 1,000 signatures calling on both the city and county councils to address the parking issues by creating additional parking spaces and establishing priorities between different users.
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Elizabeth Hubbick, leader of the working group which has carried out a survey of possible sites for extra spaces, said: "There are about 12 sites where you could get five or six extra places. If we just got 10 of those that would be 50 extra spaces.
"The petition will be presented to the city and county council as we want them to work together and consult both residents and visitors to Topsham. "At the moment they do things piecemeal. We want them to come up with a comprehensive plan – that could mean that we have meters on the street which was proposed a couple of years ago and then withdrawn, but we want them to look at it as an integrated scheme."
The petition can be signed until January 7.
Andrew Leadbetter, county councillor for Topsham and chairman of the Exeter and Devon joint highways committee, said he would be happy to accept the petition and work with the residents and added: " I will push the county council to carry out this consultation.
Topsham city councillor, Margaret Baldwin, said: "I have tried several times to point out that there is no understanding of local pressures and economic factors but each time I am told the car parks are busy and raising much needed income for the council and there is no desire to look any further into Topsham's problems. I am of course supporting this petition."