Questions raised over cause of delay to pay-on-exit parking in Bury St Edmunds
A business leader has urged a council to progress plans for ‘pay-on-exit’ parking in Bury St Edmunds, a scheme he says will have wide-ranging benefits.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of Business Improvement District (BID) Ourburystedmunds, expressed his frustration at the delay - it being some four years since the option was first raised - at a meeting earlier this week.
He says pay-on-exit at the borough council’s car parks will give people the flexibility to stay in the town longer and the new technology could potentially reduce costs or have benefits attached to the parking ticket, such as money off purchases.
He told St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Bury area working party: “We want to be able to have a better mix of parking options. I know we are working towards this and I’m an impatient so and so, but this is taking years and we are missing a trick here.”
In 2012 the borough council agreed to commission a study to investigate pay-on-exit in Bury, and also Haverhill, following a major review of car parking charges.
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Independent councillor David Nettleton said: “I think members should be told why pay-on-exit which was put forward after the review for consideration has not come forward, and I think Mark has got a good point. Four years.”
Chair of the meeting, Robert Everitt, said part of the reason for the delay had been due to the ill health of a consultant. The council agreed to produce a report explaining what had happened following a request by Mr Nettleton.
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A council spokesman said the report on an independent technical feasibility study into pay-on-exit parking was received in early 2014, and since then the council had been working on the business case.
“Part of the reasons for this are that we recognise that at some point in the near future we will have to increase the number of car parking spaces in Bury to accommodate the increasing number of shoppers and visitors we are seeing year on year.
“We are gathering car park occupancy data, and looking at investment costs, staffing and maintenance and expect for this information to be presented to councillors in June.”