Felixstowe: Traders express fears for town amid rising costs

TRADERS in Felixstowe fearful over the future of the town centre have met with councillors to raise concerns after a disastrous year for business in the resort.

A number of shops have been forced to close their doors in recent months with a crippling business rate rise and higher car park charges compounding the misery for traders.

Traders and councillors were attempting to find common ground during the meeting and the possibility of improving signs to the centre for day trippers and holidaymakers was raised.

Felixstowe Town Councillor Martin Walker said: “It is disjointed between down here [seafront] and up there [Hamilton Road] and something as simple as signing the town centre from the seafront could help with that.”

Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Andy Smith told the meeting that better signage on the seafront was on the district council’s agenda.

County councillor for Felixstowe Coastal, Graham Newman, added: “I think that would certainly make a contribution and I will take that away.”

Traders also attacked the rise in car park charges which it is claimed has dissuaded many from shopping in Hamilton Road.

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A parking review is currently under way and there are hopes that it could see up to 80 street car park spaces introduced in the future, but traders have called for urgent action.

Paul Armbruster, owner of Underwood Hardware, said: “Why can’t it be free two or days a week? The car park charges have gone up and we have lost our free spaces.”