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Dartmouth Park and Ride Service at the crossroads

After discussions about the Dartmouth Park and Ride service were held in camera by the Executive committee on January 23rd, a spokesman for South Hams District Council said: “A recommendation has been made by the Executive Committee about the Dartmouth Park and Ride and options will go before the full council on February 13. Meanwhile negotiations are ongoing.” Despite complaints about alleged high charges to customers, the Park and Ride service operates at a loss which is said to be £50,000 a year. And this has been paid in the past by a Section 106 planning consent subsidy levied on the Sainsburys and
Lidls supermarkets.

But now this money is running out, and with a £700,000 budget gap this year, it seems the District Council’s options are
 Increase the charges to paying customers
 Close the service and sell the land for housing
 Lease the service to a private operator or bus company
 Ask the Town Council to pay the subsidy
 Ask the BID team to pay the subsidy
 Impose a tourist tax to pay the subsidy
 A combination of these
The annual re-commencement of this service is now just 12 weeks away and the old question remains— should the tourists or retail trade pay for the service, or should it be the council tax
payer ?

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