October 22 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
A rolling tariff ticket scheme offered as part of a “joined up approach” to car parking in a Suffolk market town has received a mixed response from residents and councillors.
Suffolk Coastal District Council will launch the new system at its Fore Street car park in Framlingham “within the next few days”, allowing residents to buy a ticket in the evening and carry over their parking time into the following morning.
The scheme, announced during a joint meeting between police and the town, district and county councils, is hoped to offer residents who use the car park “more flexibility”.
Fore Street residents have been critical of the district council’s introduction of parking charges, which they claim has resulted in people parking outside their homes, taking up spaces they previously used.
John Massey, who is leading a petition to make Fore Street residents-only parking, claims the rolling tariff offer “is a backward step”.
“I think it’s totally missed the point,” he said. “I don’t think any of the residents use that car park. The problem is the people that work in the town who used to use the car park now use our street.
“Opening up the car park to residents is not a solution to anything.”
However, Framlingham Town Council’s highways committee, met the offer with a more enthusiastic response.
Councillor Kevin Coe said the parking meeting had been “very positive” and welcomed the new scheme as a “fair compromise”.
Committee members felt the calls for charges to be dropped from the car park or for resident-only parking to be introduced along the street would be unlikely to win approval.
However, they said the new scheme, which means residents using the car park overnight would not have to buy a new ticket as soon as parking charges start at 8am, would be a “reasonable” offer.
Andrew Nunn, who is responsible for car parking at the district council, said the “modest charges at Fore Street have created a fairer system”.
“Visitors and shoppers can now find parking,” he said. “Previously, it had effectively become a free private car park for a small number of residents, which was being paid for by all the council tax payers in Suffolk Coastal.”
Mr Nunn said there had been a “steady growth” in car park usage, rising from 881 people a month in October to nearly double that in May.
“Anecdotally, visitors and people wanting to shop in Framlingham have given us positive feedback,” he said.
The new rolling tariff scheme, he added, would offer “more flexibility” for residents and had been successful elsewhere in the district.