Devon County Council Cabinet members unanimously agreed to accept last week’s recommendation and axe plans to install pay and display parking meter schemes in eight towns.

Following ongoing opposition to the proposals from members of the public in the eight towns under consideration (Braunton, Crediton, Dartmouth, Honiton, Okehampton, Salcombe, Sidmouth and Tavistock), the county council yesterday agreed not to go ahead with the scheme.

Instead, Cabinet members agreed that they would welcome suggestions from members of the community on alternative ways to tackle parking problems.

Devon’s Cabinet member for Highway Management, Stuart Hughes, said:  “I do hope the decision not to proceed with the proposals for pay and display in the eight towns shows that the county council has listened to the feedback from the public and local members following the consultation. 

“It is now open to the communities on how they would wish to address their parking issues so that joint sustainable solutions can be developed in the future.”

The decision follows a recommendation released last week in which Cabinet members were advised to recognise the high level of opposition and reject the proposal. The recommendation also suggested that the county council use the results of the public consultation into the parking meter scheme to recognise and identify the more complex parking issues within the towns and its impact on businesses and residents.

Devon County Council leader John Hart, said: “We have listened to the county councillors who have represented their towns very forcefully. We have listened to the residents and businesses in these towns and to their local councils.

“Many of our towns have parking and congestion issues which need to be tackled but it’s important that any solution has the support of the local community. We are listening to them.”

Devon County Council first proposed the possibility of introducing pay and display parking in November 2022 with county council officers discussing the proposals with community representatives across the eight towns between July and September last year.

Braunton, Crediton, Dartmouth, Honiton, Okehampton and Tavistock town councils all agreed that they were unable to support the proposal. West Devon Borough Council also raised an objection.