BUSINESS leaders and motorists alike have reacted angrily to a decision by Wiltshire Council to introduce parking fees in Devizes Market Place on August 1.

Reaction has been further soured by temporary plans to make drivers use a smart phone app to pay rather than putting in a pay and display machine.

Businessman Iain Wallis from the Federation of Small Businesses said: “We must ensure that car park users without smart phones are not inconvenienced or they may chose to go to another town which could have a devastating impact on local businesses.

“I would encourage Wiltshire Council to use discretion and continue to waive charges until the new designs are finalised and pay machines can be installed.”

Wiltshire Council said this week that cashless payment would only be a temporary scheme and a machine would be introduced once Devizes Town Council had completed a survey designed to give people a vote on which part of the space they want for parking and which is kept for community use.

The usual 20p charge for using the App is to be waived. But a number of pensioners took to social media to say they would not be able to use the App.

The town council’s launch of its consultation at the area board on Monday evening was overshadowed by the announcement on parking fees.

New Wiltshire Council leader Philip Whitehead caused confusion when he appeared to suggest that the Market Place would continue to be cashless even after the consultation. But yesterday he confirmed that a machine would be provided in the future.

People can now vote on two options for the layout of the Market Place. One would see the community space near Greggs and the other in the centre of the square.

Forms are available from the town hall or and town clerk Simon Fisher this week urged people to vote.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Council said: "This is a temporary measure until the future use is decided. If the consultation decides to go with parking, a permanent car park charging mechanism will come in.

"There will also be disabled spaces in the Market Place and for those other people who don’t have a mobile there are other surrounding car parks including West Central and Central."

To download the parking app go to appstore/google play and search for MiPermit.