Empty bays mean an empty town
WHILE walking along Torwood Street (the museum section) on October 4 at noon, there was not one parking bay occupied. There are 25 bays.
On returning home at 4.30pm there was only one bay occupied.
This is not an unusual occurrence. Even during the summer months this stretch of road was under utilised because of the distance from town.
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Also, in the lower section of Torwood Street the vacant parking bays available were numerous.
How much did it cost to install these parking meters, paint the bays etc, and how long will it take to recover the costs of these ill-placed bays?
Empty bays mean an empty town and the town was empty on October 4, a nice sunny day.
The charging bands also need looking at, outside the museum there is a charge of 50 pence for 20 minutes, if parked outside the museum it would be interesting to know where you can go and then return within 20 minutes.
Who was the bright spark who came up with the charge bands of 20, 40, 80 minutes?
Would it not have made it easier for people parking to have 30, 60 and 90 minutes?
I believe the 20, 40 and 80 is a deliberate ploy to catch people out, not all are good at mental arithmatic when they have perhaps more important or distressing things on their minds.
It's about time the council took their collective heads out of the sand and looked around them because they are not seeing what the rest of us are seeing, a dying town because of these onerous meters and car park charges.
The occasional one-off cheap parking event at Christmas is not going to save this once lovely busy town from becoming a no-no on the holiday destination trail.
The much-lauded new bypass, due to be operational in 2015, may certainly provide a quicker journey to this then empty town.
Pay the same parking rate
MAY I put forward a suggestion for Torbay Council's parking review body to discuss?
Councillors, council staff, residents and visitors all pay the same parking rate.
After all, in this time of economic difficulty, we're 'all in this together'.
Er... aren't we?
Library no longer so
I OBJECT to the way Paignton's new library and information hub is being filled up by, what I would call, non-library things.
I was always brought up to believe that a proper town library was basically for study and books.
Now it is obviously no longer so.
Though Paignton may be the youngest (2010) library in the Bay, it appears unlike those at Churston, Brixham or Torquay.
The latest community associations such as Age Concern, South Devon College's Adult Community Learning, the local NHS care trust, the registrar's team and police make this perhaps a hotbed of information but a library, no way!
A very happy user of the former Paignton library.
Parking plan not on Plain
FURTHER to last week's article highlighting our plans to improve car parking opposite Headland Hotel in Daddyhole Road, I would like to clarify a few points which I feel may not have been apparent.
For almost two years we, at Duchy Hotels, have been putting together a package of proposals which would address our business requirements, satisfy any concerns from local residents, improve the amenity of the area and put funds into Torbay Council's coffers.
Through our project architect, Chillcott Design, we have had ongoing correspondence and meetings with local residents, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, South West Coast Path, Councillors and council departments.
We have displayed plans and various amendments in the hotel for almost a year, and they are there for viewing in our foyer.
The area we are talking about is not actually on Daddyhole Plain itself, but is further along Daddyhole Road beyond the Plain and well below it.
It is an overgrown area immediately adjacent to the road, directly opposite the hotel, right next to where our guests cars and coaches currently park.
This strip of land five metres wide, would allow up to 19 cars, to park at right angles to the road on a permeable and removable hard standing.
An integral feature of our plans is a clearly defined turning area for coaches, emergency and delivery vehicles, which would be kept clear at all times, with appropriate signage and lineage, thereby avoiding the need for any vehicles to reverse along Daddyhole Road.
This strip of land would be leased from the council, with rental income for council projects, and would be maintained by us, rather than left as scrubland.
We have also proposed to pay for improvements to the nearby footpath, bench and steps which run along the cliff side up to Daddyhole Plain.
All of these are currently in a very sorry state of repair, and the money we would contribute for these improvements would be match-funded from European Community funds, releasing cash for other improvements nearby, such as at the Rock End Walk side of Daddyhole Plain.
The mayor seems to be backing Torbay's valuable tourist trade, and we provide full-time, non-seasonal employment to 40 staff, and generate a considerable revenue into the local economy.
We have made continual improvements to the hotel over the years, but while we enjoy high levels of occupancy we are suffering from limited availability of parking, for guests travelling by car.
Guests want to be able to park close to the hotel, off the road, and we do not want our neighbour's access restricted by our guests regularly having to park further down the road.
We are well aware of the outstanding natural beauty of the area, including Daddyhole Plain, indeed it is one of our unique selling points and we are keen to further improve the appeal.
The whole project would cost us a substantial sum, which we see as an investment for the future to strengthen our position in the market-place, secure jobs, put funds into the council's reserves and upgrade the local environment and amenities along the beautiful coastal path.
I would be delighted to show our plans to any interested residents, and discuss any concerns, if they would care to contact me at the hotel.
The Headland Hotel