Anger mounts over Sunday car park fees

MORE concerns have been raised over proposals to introduce Sunday parking charges in a market town.

Craig Robinson

MORE concerns have been raised over proposals to introduce Sunday parking charges in a market town.

Woodbridge Town Council has unanimously agreed to oppose the plans, which have been put forward by Suffolk Coastal District Council.

The local authority needs to make massive savings by 2013 and is currently consulting on its proposals for car parking fees, which would be introduced from April 1 next year.

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Although the majority of car parks would experience no increase, the decision to introduce fares on a Sunday has not been welcomed.

Some traders fear it could have a detrimental effect on business - especially at a time when many are struggling to cope with the pressures of the recession - and last week town councillors said they were also concerned about the effect it could have on the churchgoing community.

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Councillor Cliff Cocker said there was already a lot of on street parking on Sundays and was worried this could be made worse.

“It concerns me because I think it will cause an awful lot of congestion,” he warned. “I can understand the pressure for the district council to maximise their revenue but I think this is a back door tax.”

Councillor Stan Hewitt added: “I think it is going to mean hardship for a lot of people. There will be car parking all over the place.”

Suffolk Coastal District Council announced earlier this month that it needs to save �3m between 2010 and 2013 and was considering a new package of car parking changes that would generate an extra �130,000.

Although 16 of its 28 car parks would see no increase until 2012 the plans also include rises in out of town car parks and car parks charging all week and all year round - where they currently exclude Sundays and the winter period.

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said the prices remained some of the best value in the region.

“The introduction of charging on a Sunday is a recognition that it has become an increasingly normal day for shopping to occur, and there is the same need to encourage a regular turn-over of our spaces on Sundays as there is on any other day of the week,” he added.

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