Framlingham: Introducing parking fees for town is a ‘non starter’ says district councillor

Christopher Hudson, district councillor for Framlingham, says the introduction of car parking charge

Christopher Hudson, district councillor for Framlingham, says the introduction of car parking charges in the town would be a 'non starter' - Credit: Contributed

INTRODUCING parking fees in a historic market town is a “non starter”, it was claimed last night.

Christopher Hudson, district councillor for Framlingham, also said should the charges be implemented he would push for residents’ parking permits to be introduced in a bid to ease problems.

Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) agreed last year that it would start charging people to use their two car parks in The Elms and Fore Street. There have been fears this will encourage people to park elsewhere - pushing them onto residential roads and creating problems for people who live there.

Mr Hudson said: “The parking situation is getting quite serious now. The timing is even more crucial because it’s fast approaching the period when the district council want to implement charges in its two car parks.

“I believe that to be a non starter. We’re going to be forcing people to park in residential roads. For example Double Street and Fore Street. It’s already bad and my fear is that it will be made worse. I have been contacted by a number of people who have concerns.

“If the charges are brought in then it’s essential residents’ parking permits be considered most urgently.”

A number of interested parties such as the business association and the town council are already working together in a bid to find a solution.

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Mr Hudson praised the ongoing efforts, saying: “It’s vital we all work together. We need to put our heads together and strive to get it solved pretty quickly. However there are no easy solutions.”

SCDC had originally hoped to introduce the charges from April 1 but it will now not happen until at least the summer. Andrew Nunn, cabinet member for the green environment, who has responsibility for car parks, said no conclusions had been reached. “The introduction of charges are an important way to sensibly control traffic within Framlingham as it would mean there is a regular turnover of parking within the town,” he said. “Framlingham is a special town but it is no different than any others in the district, which have benefited from our sensible car parking management policies.

“I agree with Mr Hudson that there are no easy solutions but doing nothing is not an answer either, as it will mean there will be no control on when and how people park. “Putting in place a value for money pricing regime that will help generate a regular flow of visitors to the town’s shops is far preferable than just allowing those spaces to be filled possibly all day.”

The provision of parking permits is the responsibility of the county council. The authority declined to comment as it is in purdah ahead of the local elections.