In an endeavour to streamline parking permits, South Hams District Council are introducing a number of permit changes in April. Changes will see an introduction of permits, extending residents’ permits and limiting new paperless permits, once available, to one vehicle.

Since Members at the Executive agreed the proposed amendments last year, the proposals have been going through the statutory process and residents were given the chance to have their say in a consultation last month.

In light of the high level of responses from residents to some of the Council’s proposals in the consultation, a number of proposed amendments will be taken back to Members on the Executive in April to reconsider the proposals.

Proposals that did not receive substantial representations will now come into force from April. In addition, new software will see the introduction of new ‘virtual’ paperless parking permits, which will modernise the permit system and take advantage of technological advancements. There will then be no need for drivers to remember to put a permit in their car windows, as everything would be on the Council systems, and customers will be able to update their details online. It is anticipated that these will be available by June.

Residents’ parking permits will be extended to allow parking from 3 p.m. to 10 a.m., which is ideal for after the school run and with an increase in cost to £40.00, still offers great value for money.

New permits will be limited to one vehicle registration number only, some permits, such as business permits and some reserved parking permits will see an increase in cost, while some free of charge permits for various organisations will be stopped altogether.

In Dartmouth, free parking at the Dartmouth Park & Ride site will be available while the park and ride service is not in operation, allowing customers to then catch a public bus to the town centre.

Cllr Rufus Gilbert, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, explains why the changes are being brought in: “This was a real chance for us to streamline the parking permit system in the South Hams. It had become really quite unwieldy and was in need of being revised.

“The new proposals being brought in, go some way in simplifying parking permits in the South Hams and offer flexibility for customers in keeping their own details up-to-date online with new permits.

“As for the other proposals we consulted the public on, we received many responses and we have listened, some of the proposals will not be going forward and Members will now be given the opportunity to review those, consider the responses and look at the options again.”

The new changes to parking permits will come into effect in April.

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