North Devon's coastal car parking charges to rise in bid to cope with high tourist numbers

People in the sea at Croyde Beach in North Devon. Credit: PA

Parking charges in some North Devon car parks this summer are set to be hiked to cope as a high level of tourists are expected to visit the area.

North Devon Council’s strategy and resources committee is being recommended to charge an extra 40p per hour at some of their coastal car parks between April and October.

Councillors are being told restrictions on oversees holidays will mean a high number of visitors to North Devon in the summer.

The extra charges would result in additional income of £118,833.72 for the council.During the summer of 2020, North Devon experienced very high numbers of visitors after the first lockdown was lifted. But the amount of tourists saw local roads blocked by parked vehicles in some coastal areas.

It is likely that because of the restriction on overseas holidays, North Devon will again see high number of visitors during this coming season.

North Devon Council’s chief executive Ken Miles

North Devon Council’s chief executive Ken Miles said: “It is not possible to increase capacity within car parks to try to accommodate additional usage but measures can be introduced to try to manage demand through the use of parking charges and the aim would not be to reduce usage in car parks but to perhaps try to alleviate the situation experienced last year.

“It is clear from modelling that introducing an increase in car parking charges would increase the income to the council and a 40p per hour increase in charges would result in additional income of £118,833.72 based on the same ticket sales from 2019/20.”

The Pier, Cove, Marine Drive, and Hele car parks in Ilfracombe, as well as in Croyde and Mortehoe, are the car parks proposed to see the rise.

Currently holidays are banned under coronavirus restrictions, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to give details of his "roadmap out of lockdown" plan this afternoon.

Credit: Daniel Clark, Local Democracy Reporter

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