Dartmouth Parking plans, protesters swamp county with mail
Campaigners claim they have swamped county hall with more than 1,000 letter and email protests over the controversial parking changes which could scrap unrestricted winter parking in the town.
Last Friday they handed 977 individually signed protests to legal officers at Devon County Council’s Exeter headquarters.
And dozens more have come in since which will also be sent to County Hall, said a spokesman for the Dartmouth group called residents Opposing Parking Enforcement.
That works out at more than one fifth of the adult population of Dartmouth who have registered their opposition to moves to end unrestricted parking in the town centre for the seven months of the year between September and May, said ROPE spokesman Louise Bicknell.
She said county council officers had admitted the huge level of response to the parking changes was ‘unprecedented’.
Another ROPE spokesman, Teddy Cranmer, warned after handing in the protest letters in Exeter, that Dartmouth residents were going to have to ‘play motorised musical chairs all through the year instead of just in the summer’.
He said: ‘These changes are being inflicted on us and we’re angry.’
The deadline for protests over the parking proposals was last Friday and the county council has refused to extend it.
But Ms Bicknell said ROPE had been assured that letters that come in after that date will still be considered by county officials.
‘It’s very important to point out that the chap from the legal department said that it is not too late if people still want to send in their view by letter or email – they will still be heard and counted,’ she said.
She said that the response from Dartmouth businesses and residents had been ‘phenomenal’, particularly taking into account the ‘unfair’ way the notification had gone out right in the middle of the town regatta.