Car parking spaces axe fury

By Lisa CleverdonA PLAN to cut the number of parking spaces in a town has been criticised by residents who claimed it would be a “terrible mistake” and spell ruin for businesses.

By Lisa Cleverdon

A PLAN to cut the number of parking spaces in a town has been criticised by residents who claimed it would be a “terrible mistake” and spell ruin for businesses.

The 32 Group in Bury St Edmunds has spent more than a year campaigning against the redevelopment of the town's Cattle Market, which looks set to cause a huge reduction in the number of parking spaces.

It is thought the total number of town centre spaces will be reduced by about 600, even though St Edmundsbury Borough Council plans to build another car park for 200 vehicles underneath the public building planned for the Cattle Market.


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Last night 32 Group member, Anthony Platt, warned the cutback could have a detrimental effect on the town's commercial and cultural success.

“My group has been stressing that the council is making a terrible and probably irreversible mistake in savagely cutting down on central parking for the Cattle Market project, where, if anything, it should be increased,” he said.

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“Parking is the most important single factor that could serve to make or break the Cattle Market scheme and the council has left very little time to correct this major flaw.”

Mr Platt feared the entire scheme could become a “white elephant” if people do not come to the town to shop because of the lack of parking spaces.

Chartered surveyor, Simon Pott, said he was in disbelief that the council was considering cutting car parking.

“The parking provision will be fine for the shops in the new development, but the provision for the rest of the town has not been taken into account,” he claimed.

“I cannot believe that we are contemplating taking parking places out of the centre of town when something the size of the new public building is being considered.”

Mr Pott said similar projects where parking has been reduced in other parts of the country had resulted in problems.

“Bury's Parkway is already overloaded with traffic at certain times and my view is that we are simply going to create gridlock into and out of the proposed car parking area at the western end of the Cattle Market.”

A spokesman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council said decisions had been made based on expert advice and it was confident the car parking on the Cattle Market would meet the needs of the town.

lisa.cleverdon@eadt.co.uk

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