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Empty spaces in town car park upset drivers

EMPTY spaces in Dartmouth’s Old Market car park are leaving some motorists hot under the collar.
Estate agent Stephen Levy, of The Coastal House, said it was nonsense that people could not use the car park on days when it was deserted.
Present traffic restrictions limit the use of the car park on Tuesdays and Fridays to market stallholders only.
But even when they do not turn up, other motorists – who are free to use the parking area on other days of the week – will be ticketed if they use the empty spaces.
‘It seems nonsense that people can’t use the car park during the winter months when it’s half empty,’ said Mr Levy, who has lived in Dart­mouth for over 40 years.
‘It’s even harder for motorists now that parking is restricted on the North Embankment due to the street lamp work.
‘Where is the common sense in it? We are turning people away.’
Simon Riley, who runs House of Hawkins mens­wear in Foss Street, said he had driven round the town twice one Friday looking for somewhere to park – each time passing the market car park that was practically empty.
‘I was so angry,’ he said. ‘There were dozens of empty spaces in the car park. Why shouldn’t people park there? It’s stopping people coming into town and spending money at a time of year when we can all do with as much trade as possible. It seems very wrong.
‘Surely if there was going to be a market it would get going before 11am? People understand it during the spring and summer months but it might make sense to lift the restrictions during low season.’
Dartmouth Town Council, which owns the market car park, said it was under review but nothing would be done until the future of the park and ride had been decided. One possibility would be to introduce charges at the prime town centre location.
Mayor Rob Lyon said car parking everywhere in Dartmouth came at a cost.

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