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Sudbury: Parking permits back on the agenda

PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 February 2013

Parking permits could be introduced in residential streets

Parking permits could be introduced in residential streets

A PUSH for residents’ permit parking schemes to be introduced in some of Sudbury’s side streets is set to be renewed.

Last year, Sudbury Town Council wrote to the county highways department asking for civil parking enforcement (CPE) to be introduced in the town after receiving dozens of complaints about vehicles being left in narrow streets outside residents’ homes.

Town councillors believe the problem has developed since charges were introduced for long-stay parking. But now the issue has re-emerged and has been added to a list of traffic priorities to be discussed at a meeting on February 28.

The county council, Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, the Market Town Partnership and other stakeholders will attend the meeting to discuss how £460,000 allocated to help ease Sudbury’s traffic woes should best be spent.

Sudbury’s highways and footpaths committee met to pinpoint priority projects, including the introduction of 20mph speed limits and a clearway near the town’s crowded taxi ranks.

Sudbury resident Tina Read spoke at the meeting and implored councillors to consider introducing permit parking to help overcome the problem of commuters leaving their vehicles in streets such as Belle Vue Road and Francis Road to avoid paying car park fees. According to Mrs Read, 27 residents of Belle Vue Road have signed a letter asking for permits.

The committee has suggested introducing a trial scheme and this will be put to the county highways chiefs on February 28.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman told the EADT that decriminalisation of parking was completely separate from residents’ permit parking, and that CPE was not required for the introduction of resident parking schemes, which were normally managed by district councils.

The county council has discussed residents’ parking schemes with several other Suffolk towns and there are already long-standing schemes in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft, managed by the district and borough councils.

The spokesman said the introduction of CPE was a “major issue that involved significant cost” which would include an application to the Secretary of State.

As a result, the county would have to introduce CPE on a much wider basis. Permit parking schemes had to be self-financing and there had to be a persistent and widespread problem of non-local parking to justify a scheme.

He added: “The county council will consider any proposals for residential permit parking schemes along with all other transport issues at the meeting scheduled for the end of February.”

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