Bury St Edmunds: Borough council due to make £2.5million from car parks
- Credit: Archant
A borough council is due to make £2.5 million from parking this year - two-and-a-half times the amount any equivalent authority in the county is scheduled to make.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council is expected to make the sum this financial year according to the latest budget estimates from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The £2.49 million figure includes tickets, season tickets and fines for all off-street parking, with Suffolk County Council responsible for on-street parking.
Ipswich, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney councils are due to make little more than £1 million from the same service.
Andrew Denny, president of the Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said: “I actually think they do recognise the importance of providing good, inexpensive parking, but at the same time they also see pound signs in front of their eyes, and it’s very difficult to ignore that.
“Parking in Bury is reasonably easy and reasonably inexpensive, but looking at the revenues they have been able to make, they must treat it as a cash cow, and they can’t keep milking the cow.”
The council manages 11 car parks in Bury town centre alone. It is also responsible for car parks at Hardwick Heath, Nowton Park and West Stow Country Park, as well as five in Haverhill town centre and around the Ehringshausen Way leisure complex.
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By comparison, Ipswich Borough Council manages 12 car parks, with 22 managed privately.
Earlier this month, St Edmundsbury approved an increase of 10p for all-day fees in the Parkway multi-storey and Ram Meadow car parks, and a 20p rise for three-hour stays in the cattle market and school yard west, which will generate an estimated extra £160,000. All other tariffs were frozen.
Councillor Alaric Pugh, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s cabinet member for growth, said: “St Edmundsbury supports the local economy by investing in high-quality car parking in its towns.
“Much of this parking is in and around Bury St Edmunds, an increasingly popular destination for shoppers and tourists since the new £100 million shopping quarter opened. Part of the council’s £20 million contribution was in new car parking facilities.
“Some towns use private car park operators, who take a profit. In St Edmundsbury, the income generated from increased footfall goes back into the facilities and the town centre, giving even more reasons to visit.”
Overall, St Edmundsbury’s highways and transport services is due to make around £850,000, the second-highest in Suffolk behind Waveney, which is due to make £920,000.