Parking award for South Hams Council
Offering South Hams residents better value for money on parking has led to the District Council scooping an award from the Federation of Small Businesses.
South Hams District Council has won the Small Business Friendly Award for the ‘Best Parking Policy’.
The Council offers a residents’ permit for £21 a year, which allows free parking in any car park in the District from 4pm to 10am each day. The initiative has encouraged residents to shop earlier or later in the day, and supports night-time businesses, whose customers don’t have to pay for parking.
As an extra bonus, the permit also allows residents to make use of the Dartmouth Park & Ride service, free of charge, so more people visit the town.
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Dartmouth businesswomen, Judith Ewings, owner of the Crab Shell and Dartmouth Ice Cream Company, said: “Use of the permit has increased now that it gives free use of the Park & Ride, and allows more people from the surrounding villages to shop in Dartmouth.”
She added:”Those who own businesses or work in the town use the permit, it frees up parking on the streets, making it easier for customers and tourists to park.”
The judges at this year’s Devon Regional Local Authority Small Business Friendly Awards were also impressed by the Council’s decision to cut parking charges in Modbury in an effort to help revitalise trade.
The Council is running a pilot project in the town which will cut the price of one hour’s parking by 20p from 70p down to 50p and half an hour’s parking by 10p from 30p to 20p.
The pilot project was set up as a direct result of consultation with businesses and residents in Modbury who asked for the short stay parking tariffs to be set at a level that would reinvigorate the town and have a beneficial effect on the local economy.
Devon Regional Chairman of the FSB, David Shephard, said: “We feel it’s important that the FSB highlights the very real progress made by Councils like South Hams in helping small businesses in this tough economic climate. Often Councils are criticised for not doing this or that, whereas in reality, many are working extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure small businesses continue to trade and employ local people. “
Cllr John Tucker, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: “I am delighted the Council has won this award. We’ve listened to the local community to make car parking as fair as possible for everyone. The resulting parking policy provides the best possible outcome for businesses, residents and visitors, alike. I think this award is a recognition of what can be achieved when communities work together.”