New taxi rank in Sudbury raises fresh fears over town centre parking
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Plans to create a new taxi rank in Sudbury have been mooted by a Suffolk council – but warnings have been issued that it represents another blow to town centre parking.
Land in King Street which is currently designated as double yellow lines has been proposed as the new rank.
It will join existing ranks in East Street, st Old Market Place and at the rail station, if Babergh District Council's licensing committee give it the go-ahead after a public consultation.
Committee chairman Mark Newman said: "I think it would make a good sport for taxis because they do hang around further up and cause trouble."
The committee approved a public consultation to be held on the plans, which would see disabled spaces moved further up Market Hill as well, likely to be sometime during the spring.
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But fears have been raised that with disabled motorists already parking on the other side of the road from the taxi rank in Old Market Hill it would still cause issues.
Councillor Peter Beer said it was another blow to motorists who needed town centre parking.
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He said: "This is the thin end of the wedge.
"We know civil parking enforcement [which arrives in April] is going to create more problems and if the Vision for Sudbury goes through that will abolish Market Hill parking.
"I do not agree with making extra space for taxis, although it is needed.
"Disabled people are going to be moved further round the corner, and so little parking is going to be left - I have to oppose this at some point."
Councillor Margaret Maybury said there was a need for proper taxi ranks, but said proper disabled parking was also needed to stop them from parking on double yellow lines opposite the taxi rank in Market Hill, where it sometimes caused disruption.
Blue badge laws dictate that disabled motorists can park on double yellow lines, as long as it does not cause a disruption on the road.
Civil parking enforcement powers due to come in from April will mean that parking is monitored by district councils instead of police, which should lead to a tougher crackdown as officers cannot currently dedicate time to the issue while resources are so stretched.
Mr Beer has long called for work on parking issues in Sudbury, and tabled a motion in October calling for the council to investigate measures - including resident parking permits, timed areas and a new multi-storey car park.