Do parking charges put you off spending? Do they push you towards out of town shopping centres, or do you just soak it up?

A new 30-minute option for parking in some town centre car parks is among a raft of changes to North Devon Council’s parking charges, which is probably useful if you are just nipping in somewhere quickly.

Changes to North Devon Council’s Off Street Parking Places Order are set to come into effect in the spring.

Visitors to Barnstaple’s Cattle Market, Bear Street and Queen Street car parks and Ilfracombe’s Wilder Road car park will be able to opt for a 30-minute stay for 50p, offering a new option for those making brief stops in the town centre.

Elsewhere, charges across council car parks will be increasing for the first time since 2016 to reflect an increase in running costs.

There will be an increase of 20p per hour in short-stay and medium-stay car parks in Barnstaple, as well as Brookdale, Larkstone Lane, Oxford Grove and Wilder Road in Ilfracombe, with an hour-long stay now costing £1.30.

Seasonal parking charges are being introduced across the district’s coastal short stay car parks. An hour-long stay will be £1.50 in high season, reducing to 80p in the winter.

The all-day charge for long stay car parks across the district will rise to £2.50. There are also modest increases to permits, which offer a cost effective alternative for those using long stay car parks on a regular basis.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, says: “We last made changes to our parking charges in 2016 and since then the annual cost of running our car parks has increased by more than £400,000. Over the last few years we have been able to absorb these increased costs, but it is not a situation that is sustainable in the long run.

“Increasing charges for residents and visitors is not a decision taken lightly and we have held off making any changes during the coronavirus pandemic. We feel these new charges, which include the option of a 30-minute stay in our busier town centre car parks, still offer value for money when compared with similar councils.”

For more information, view the Off Street Parking Places Order 2023 on the council’s website.