December 9 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 30, 2013
PARKING charges are set for a price hike across Bury St Edmunds … just a few months after a similar increase was introduced.
If agreement is given to the rise it would bring in over £160,00 a year with four of the town centre car parks seeing increases of between 10p and 20p.
On the flip side price freezes are being made on 14 out of 18 sites in the St Edmundsbury area along with free parking offers including “free from 3” on Tuesdays in Bury and Haverhill, and free parking on Thursday afternoons in the run-up to Christmas.
Members of the district council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee are set to discuss the measures when they meet on Tuesday at West Suffolk House.
But it has been met with mixed reaction from Mark Cordell, the chief executive of Bid4Bury, the town centre business improvement group.
He said he was aware increases were likely following discussions between his organisation and the council last year if there was found to be a “proven need”.
He added: “I said if they gave me the ‘free from 3’ offer again I would not make too much of a fuss. Although I am disappointed that the council have seen a need to increase car parking prices in four car parks I am delighted that they have been frozen in 14 others.
“I am clearly delighted that the success of the ‘free from 3’ initiative on a Tuesday, suggested by the Bid, is to remain in place for a further year and this is proving beneficial to business through the increased footfall in the town. I am in discussions with the council about how we can promote the season ticket offer better to town centre workers so they can make weekly savings on their parking costs.
However, Mr Cordell said: “If these increases lead to the projected increase of £160,000 a year in income I look forward with interest as to how this will be reinvested in the town centre of Bury.”
The increases would be at the Cattle Market/Arc and School Yard West, both up 20p to £3.50 for three hours; Parkway multi storey and Ram Meadow, up 10p to £2.30 for all day.
Peter Stevens, St Edmundsbury Cabinet member for car parks said: “Safe and affordable car parking is an important part of creating successful, vibrant town centres both for visitors and businesses, including staff who work in them. I hope my colleagues on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will back these proposals because I firmly believe they are in the best interests of Council Tax payers in St Edmundsbury and our visitors.”
He added: “Town centre workers will be pleased by the proposal to hold the season ticket price, which works out at £1.50 a day in Bury and Haverhill. We will be promoting the price and ease of payment through the car park machines and mobile phones to help people get the best value.”