Resident parking zones to be reviewed amid warnings of ‘limited’ on-street bays
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Car users in Bury St Edmunds have been warned by a council that “we will not be able to satisfy everyone’s requirements for convenient on-street parking” - as a review into parking zones gets under way.
All parking zones in the town are set to undergo reviews starting in the next five months, with West Suffolk Council warning of a “limited supply of on-street bays”.
The authority has been enforcing existing parking regulations since April, when powers were transferred from the police.
Many restrictions have been in place for a number of years. However, regular enforcement of illegal parking has only recently started with the introduction of these new powers to the council.
The authority is now looking to shake up residential zones in a bid to improve parking in the town.
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Peter Stevens, cabinet member for operations at West Suffolk Council, said: “Residents parking is a real issue in Bury St Edmunds town centre, and we have every sympathy with residents.
“Many of the houses were built before people had cars and many more when the level of car ownership was much less than it is now.
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“We simply have a limited supply of on-street parking bays and given these constraints, we will not be able to satisfy everyone’s requirements for convenient on-street parking.
“It is a complex issue and there’s no easy or quick solution.
“We can’t pick and choose what parking regulations we enforce.
“Civil Parking Enforcement was always going to both solve problems and throw up new challenges at the same time, and the issues we are currently seeing in Bury St Edmunds are among these challenges.
“Now that the impact of CPE is better understood, we are committed to starting a review of all Residents’ Parking Zones across the town by the end of the financial year.
“Alongside this sits the wider societal issue of how we and our partners at Suffolk County Council, address traffic congestion, pollution, and encourage residents wherever possible to travel by other means including walking and cycling where appropriate.”
The council is also responsible for issuing permits to residents but cannot refuse one under the current laws.
To ensure that no-one receives a permit who does not live in the town, multiple checks of residency are made at the point of application.
Details of the review are still being worked up but will include engagement with residents although this will have to be in line with any Covid-19 restrictions in place.