BERE FERRERS Parish Council has agreed to back the campaign by traders and residents to try and prevent the introduction of on-street parking charge to Tavistock.

The town’s Business Improvement District (BID) is running an online petition asking people to show their opposition to the as yet unofficial idea to replace the current one-hour free parking with a possible 30-minute free session in the town centre.

This support follows that of Tavistock Town Council.

Cllr Peter Crozier, parish council chairman, said: ‘Our meeting on Tuesday (February 28) gave overwhelming support to the Stop The Meters Campaign. It is important for people who live away from the town to be able to park in the centre for a quick shop or pick up something without having to pay.

‘The parish council is following the support of Tavistock Town Council for the business group’s petition.

Devon County Council may be in dire straits financially at the moment, but this proposal for more parking charges is not going to help, as there have been no statistics to support the need for any charges.’

Traders and shoppers fear charges will drive custom elsewhere to rival towns and supermarkets.

Backers say the move would benefit trade by increasing the turn-over of traffic, increasing the number of customers at any one time.

Cllr Debo Sellis, Devon County member for Tavistock, is planning a consultation exercise with all interested parties, including town and West Devon borough councillors, members of BID and highways and transport and other relevant officers.

The county council is thought to be planning on using income from any new parking charges to help fund subsidised bus services serving the town. At present subsidies come from outside the town.