Council's car park charges under review

A REVIEW is to be carried out into car park charges as part of a council's drive to make a town more "shopper-friendly".Mid Suffolk District Council's economy policy panel will be reviewing car park charges in Stowmarket on October 14 as part of a public consultation paper.

A REVIEW is to be carried out into car park charges as part of a council's drive to make a town more "shopper-friendly".

Mid Suffolk District Council's economy policy panel will be reviewing car park charges in Stowmarket on October 14 as part of a public consultation paper.

It said the current car park charges, between 20p and 30p an hour in short-stay facilities, were among the lowest in Suffolk and were reviewed every two years.

Councillors are keen to strike a balance between affordability – keeping any price increases in line with inflation and bringing charges in line with comparable market towns such as Diss – and maintaining a high standard of parking that was attractive for shoppers.


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Proposals include linking the Stowmarket Key, the new discount card scheme that will offer significant discounts off certain town goods and services, with tickets issued from most Stowmarket car parks from December.

A refund of car-parking costs is also one of the benefits to be offered by the Stowmarket Key scheme.

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Eddy Alcock, the council's public services and licensing portfolio holder, said any price increases introduced would still mean shoppers would be able to park in Stowmarket for a low cost.

"We want to continue attracting shoppers, the people who breathe life into a town centre, to Stowmarket," he added.

Some of the revenue from car park fees, which amounts to £20,000 per annum, will continue to help fund Stowmarket's CCTV system, which requires ongoing investment and maintenance.

The car park review paper is a proposal for a consultation document at this stage and any changes agreed following consultation will not be implemented until April.

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